Amy Winehouse is dead.

Source here.

And I’m pissed off as all get-out.

Remember the last time I wrote about Amy? When she did not want to perform, was clearly in no state to perform, but was pushed on the stage anyway? In case you forgot that, here’s the link to that post.

This is exactly what I was talking about. If someone doesn’t want to get into the spotlight, to force them into it can, and will, and as the case in point shows, does have dangerous consequences. Amy Winehouse had enough of being a performing puppet for her management, record label, and paparazzi. She turned to drugs to cope with the stress of life in the spotlight. She couldn’t keep up with the craziness of life in the spotlight. She had no time whatsoever to actually be herself, to write her music, and to enjoy some quiet time. And I cannot tell you just how utterly furious I am that her management, her agent, and her record label thought nothing of shoving her into the spotlight time and again, even though I am sure that they knew that she was spiraling downward. Nope, doesn’t matter that the person is, pretty much, slowly dying. What matters is that there’s some candid shots of her strung out to sell to the National Enquirer and similar fishwrap rags. Those shots, by the way, go for five figures each.

I will say it without hesitation: Amy Winehouse’s fame-profiteering backing team is responsible for her death.

When the hell did it come to the point where money made off someone’s image is somehow more important than that person’s life?!!! How many more Amy Winehouses will there be until the media revisits its lesson of letting some private things stay private? And moreover, why the hell dis the buyers and readers of the gossip rags and magazines ignore the obvious, painfully obvious warning signs that Amy needed help?

I’ll tell you why. They’re too busy having their gossip over dinner and drinks to think that they’re basically making light of someone’s very obvious pain.

Look, I’ve been around the music/entertainment world for a pretty short time, but it was enough for me to see the very glaring difference between the way a person behaves in public, and the way they behave in private. I cannot even tell you how much my music people value their time off the spotlight. This is why there are, maybe, two pictures of myself with an artist in existence, and I’m keeping them off the public eye: because they are people to me, first and always. They’re every bit as human and fault-filled as the rest of us. One guy can flirt it up in public, but in reality, be an extremely private individual. One girl can socialize with everyone, make like she recognizes them for X years ago, but retreat to her house with her husband, shut the door, and treasure that time at home like the world will end tomorrow. Because this is what keeps them human: the private moments, the “away from spotlight” moments, the “off the stage” moments. Life in the spotlight is not a life that’s easy to tolerate, and people in it need a break from it.

Amy didn’t get a break while she was alive. Hell, she didn’t even get to be seen as a person. She was the trained monkey for the stage, the paparazzi fodder for the sheeple who are too busy swallowing gossip to realize that they’re watching someone’s life unravel.

I hope that she will rest in peace. I really, truly do. And I also hope that the paparazzi and yellow-journalists of the fishwraps will pull their heads out of their arses long enough to show Amy the courtesy of respect in death that she didn’t get in life.

And already, I’ve seen multiple posts already that say, “Well, what do you expect?”  Well, here’s a little food for thought for you guys: there is no one in the world who just wakes up and goes, “hey, I think I’ll go on a cocaine binge today!” Drugs and alcohol are an escape mechanism; not healthy, but that is what it is. No one had ever wondered what was going on in Amy’s mind that had led her down this path. Before you judge Amy as a drug addict, ask first what pain she was feeling that had led her there. Because for a person who is in pain, and that pain is powerful enough, sometimes there is no choice. And if you’ve not been there, then trust me, you don’t know what it feels like. That’s when you do anything in your power to escape your pain, and that is where the trouble begins.

Amy wanted nothing more than to escape. Instead, she died trying.

In Memoriam: Amy Winehouse.

K.G.

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8 thoughts on “Amy Winehouse is dead.

  1. Love ya Kat, but disagree with you on this one. Don’t know what the cause of death was, but Amy was the one who drank and took the drugs. No one did that for her. She was responsible for her own actions.

    1. Disagreed, sorry. This isn’t about the drugs. It’s about what leads to the drugs. No one ever just wakes up one morning and says, “I want to go on a cocaine binge!” NO. It doesn’t happen. Drugs are the easiest and most accessible escape mechanism available. If she needed an escape badly enough, she would go to the path of least resistance. Musicians of all genres can access drugs very easily, and the dealers are only happy to snag their next prey, especially if she’s young, rich, and looking for an escape.

  2. I’m with you on every word and line you say above, Katherine. Not to say that I have been as exposed like that ever, so I can only imagine what it must be like. But what you say sounds very plausible to me and has me question my own path at times. I think, what we’re seeing are – hopefully – the last bouts of the devastating ‘side effects’ – for lack of a better word – of the formerly known ‘established’ music business – which is a blood-squeezing exploitation machine like most other industries as well. As long as there are people who give a flying ‘F’ over their peers… unfortunately there will always be the more sensitive ones, who have no other option but to eventually break from the blown out of proportion expectations and pressures their ‘fans’, ‘friends’ and management impose on them.

    It saddens me and infuriates me just like you to see yet another human being – and at such an incredibly young age – fold under those pressures and more over: That those around her who should have CARED first… kept on turning the thumbscrews tighter and tighter despite all signs of her folding were there… I felt similar about Michael Jackson and frankly speaking… if I were family of MJ’s or Amy’s or any artist who has ever been driven to self-destruction, I’d consider pressing charges against those who are responsible. That doesn’t bring her or him or anyone back, but it might send a signal, the signal being: Enough is finally enough! (I’d say a similar thing about any public figure in some sort of art form, like the movies, music… – how come, those are never entitled to a private life, when e.g. politicians escape to their secret, remote hide-outs, unless they stage a ‘surprise disclosure’ of their whereabouts… arrgghhh)

    1. That’s actually exactly what I would like to see happen as well. Really, how many more talented people have to die before someone realizes what had led to their demise?

      The music business was never known for holiness, but you have to draw a line where making money takes second place to someone’s life. I would much rather sit down with my musician friend away from the crowd, because at those times, we’d speak nerd, fluently, for hours. And, especially in light of these sorts of news, I ask myself just how important it is for a musician, or an artist of any sort, to not be an artist 24-7. And I know that the answer is, “very important indeed.”

      MJ was a victim since he was a child, and the mere mention of his death makes me angry to an unreasonable degree. No one thought to put the man into therapy for deep-seated child abuse issues. NO ONE. And that makes me utterly enraged.

      My musicians are always My People. Key word people. Instead of having a friend of mine pick up a guitar, I’d much rather have a coffee with him. Or, with another musician friend, never mind the show on stage, show me what you cooked up on your computer! Or yet another musician I know: show me your writing – not the music kind, the literary kind. Forget the music, forget the stage: show me who you are. And believe me, everyone benefits from a little time where the spotlight is off.

  3. Regardless of what lead to the drugs and the alcohol, Amy was responsible for how she dealt with things. If that was not the case, all of the people you mentioned would be arrested for murder, and they won’t be. I am not in disagreement at all with everything else you said. However, lots of artists are under the same pressures Amy was, and they have not died in this manner. Therefore, I’ll say that I agree with you other than the fact that Amy was responsible for her actions. No one else took the drinks for her, and no one else took the drugs for her. She did. If we disagree, so be it. We can agree to disagree.

    1. Actually, Ken, that’s the precise point I was trying to make: she couldn’t deal with things, and the reason she couldn’t was because everyone profited from her – even the drug use. Ever notice how her sales revenue spiked whenever there was a report on her? Everyone but her something to lose if she went clean. And considering that her hired bodyguards would force her to perform against her will, that’s a clear sign that she has no control over her own life, isn’t it?
      And just as food for thought? The whole “no one but her decided to do this” is the precise reason that an addict won’t seek help. Because that’s the line they get all the time, which only fuels the addiction further.
      I wonder how many times Amy Winehouse heard that from people around her as she spiraled down.

  4. Katherine, great post. Amy Winehouse was truly talented and now all of that talent and promise is gone. Sometimes people/singers/writers/actors don’t know that they need help to pull themselves out of the cesspool their handlers get them into. It is sad that Amy seemed to either not know that she needed the help or that she couldn’t get it. She had real talent. I hope with you that she now has some peace.

    Ardee-ann

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