Extremely sad news out of the UK today: singer Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London home at the age of 27. Though the cause of her death is unknown at this time, Winehouse had a well-documented history of alcohol and drug abuse, going to treatment as recently as May. Last month, she canceled her European tour after a breakdown on stage in Serbia, and a statement on her website read: “Amy Winehouse is withdrawing from all scheduled performances. Everyone involved wishes to do everything they can to help her return to her best and she will be given as long as it takes for this to happen.” Earlier this week, she attended an event with her goddaughter, but sources had told various media outlets that Winehouse was “drinking herself to death.”
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Winehouse rose to fame in the UK in 2003 with the release of her debut album Frank; she became an international sensation with her second record, Back to Black, in 2006, for which she won five Grammy Awards. Now, she tragically joins a long line of talented musicians who died at the age of 27, a group that has been rather cynically dubbed “The 27 Club.” A music journalist friend of mine, who interviewed Amy in 2007, tweeted, “She told me she’d read Lady Sings the Blues [about Billie Holiday, who struggled with drug addition up until her death at 44] and wasn’t going to let that happen to her.”
Having seen her perform during her Back to Black heyday, I can say that Winehouse was such an incredible, rare talent that I feel lucky to have to seen at her best. It’s utterly tragic that her demons likely got the best of her and ended her life far too soon. RIP Amy. You’ll be missed.