As I scrolled through my Twitter timeline I was shocked to see the name Amy Winehouse. After all, she hasn’t been in the limelight for a while. I had heard that she was working on a new album and I was like a child on Christmas day awaiting the arrival of something they had been patiently waiting for. It seemed like an eternity since Amy graced us with her debut album “Frank” and followed with her incomparable sophomore album “Back to Black.” As I continued scrolling I saw the infamous “#RIP” hash tag in front of her name and I rolled my eyes. Twitter will put a celebrity in the grave or mausoleum in a heartbeat. Then, my heart literally dropped. All the retweets from reputable news sources started to flood my timeline. I could not believe it. Amy Winehouse was really dead.
I began to think about when I first heard Amy Winehouse’s music. I wondered “who is this girl with a beehive on her head.” I instantly became a fan after listening to “Rehab.” It wasn’t apparent to me at first but later on I realized that the song was autobiographical. Amy was lamenting about her narcotic filled lifestyle and how she refused to go to rehab. It was no secret that she struggled with a drug addiction. The more I heard of her the more her name became synonymous with drugs. It then got to the point where folks started to disregard her musical talent and only focused on her struggle.
As a fan of her music I had hoped that she would get better. She was more than just a Soul singer, she was a true artist. “Back to Black” has to be one of the greatest albums released this decade. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to “Me and Mr. Jones”, “Tears dry on their own”, and “Love is a losing game.”
While some chose to remember Amy for her music and accomplishments, others chose to use her death as a platform for venomous jokes. Death is serious and nothing that should be the butt of anyone’s jokes. She was a daughter, friend, and more importantly a person. Celebrity or not, no one should be ridiculed when passing.
Like Amy, everyone struggles with some sort of addiction. Whether it’s drugs, money, sex, food, or shopping, EVERYONE struggles with something. However, it seems that when someone has a drug problem the crack head jokes are sure to follow. Sadly, she wasn’t alone.
Millions of people struggle with the same demons as Amy. Some of them are our family members and closest friends. It’s sad to watch someone you love hurt so bad that they feel the need to self destruct with narcotic substances. While there are some who are able to conquer their addiction, there are many more that aren’t so lucky. Drug addiction is very serious, yet we’ve become so numb and desensitized to it that we often ignore that it’s a serious illness and if not combated, it can and sadly will end a person’s life. While the cause of Amy Winehouse’s death is unknown, some speculate that it was a drug overdose.
I choose to honor Amy Winehouse by not mocking her for struggling with an addiction or making a mockery out of it, but appreciating her music which was the soundtrack to so many people’s lives. Remember, we all know an Amy Winehouse or sadly are just like her.