Fans & Celebrities Pay Tribute To AMY WINEHOUSE!

By on 24 July, 2011


 

Hundreds of fans of have paid a visit to the North London home of singer Amy Winehouse, following her tragic death on Saturday (23rd July, 2011).

 

Tearful followers of the Back to Black hitmaker flocked to her flat in north London hours after the star was found dead there on Saturday afternoon, and her father, Mitch, has today made his way from his home in America to see where she was found. It was only three years ago, in 2008, when he revealed his “biggest fear” that his daughter would die from complications relating to her emphysema.
 

The family have paid tribute to “a wonderful daughter, sister, niece” and said they have been left “bereft” and have requested for time to allow them to grieve.

They said in a statement:

“She leaves a gaping hole in our lives. We are coming together to remember her and we would appreciate some privacy and space at this terrible time.”

 

A post-mortem examination is expected to be carried out on Monday (25th July, 2011) to determine the cause of death, which police currently say is “unexplained”.
 

Soccer superstar David Beckham has added his name to the long list of celebrities paying tribute to the singer.

He says:

“It’s obviously very sad. Such a talented girl, and a girl with such a huge future, but our hearts go out to her family, her loved ones. And everyone in the world feels sad we have lost someone with such great talent. Everyone’s love goes out to her family.”
 

A spokesman for London celebrity hangout The Hawley Arms, where Winehouse was a frequent customer, says:

“We are shocked and deeply saddened by the news of Amy’s death. Aside from her extraordinary musical talent, she was a special person with a good soul. This should not have happened. We feel privileged to have known her, and will sorely miss her.”

 

Krissi Murison, editor of NME who had interviewed Winehouse, said the singer’s impact on British music would continue to be felt for many years.
 

She says:

“Her influence has been phenomenal and I think we absolutely will remember her as one of the British pop greats alongside artists like Dusty Springfield.

“She clearly opened the door for lots of other female artists. She was a jazz singer but it was soul, her soul, in her lyrics that meant that it didn’t matter what kind of music you were in to – you couldn’t help but be moved.”
 

In one of her last public appearances Winehouse appeared on stage with her 13-year-old goddaughter, Dionne Bromfield, at the iTunes festival at the Roundhouse in Camden, urging the public to buy her album. She appeared cheerful, but showed familiar signs of intoxication, dancing unsteadily as her goddaughter sang.

 

This was after a disastrous performance in June when she was booed off stage in Serbia after appearing more than an hour late, slurring through songs, dropping her microphone and repeatedly leaving the stage. It was supposed to be a 12-day European comeback tour, but further dates were cancelled with her management saying she would be given “as long as it takes” to return to her best.

 

NME journo Alan Woodhouse, who worked briefly with Winehouse when she was a teenager doing night shifts at World Entertainment News Network, said everyone who cared about her and her music had been shocked to see the performance.

“It was embarrassing but it was so obvious she needed help. She shouldn’t have been doing those shows, she was a complete mess. You can’t blame anybody, it must have been a very hard situation to deal with and perhaps [her management and label] thought she would be OK. But why did no one say before she went on stage that money is just not that important?”

 

Former drug addict Russell Brand made long written tribute to the singer, saying they had “shared an affliction, the disease of addiction”. He accused the media of being more interested in “tragedy than talent”.
 

On his website he writes:

“We have lost a beautiful and talented woman to this disease.

“Not all addicts have Amy’s incredible talent. Or Kurt’s [Cobain] or Jimi’s [Hendrix] or Janis’s [Joplin], some people just get the affliction. All we can do is adapt the way we view this condition, not as a crime or a romantic affectation but as a disease that will kill.
 

Brand‘s full tribute reads as follows:
 

“When you love someone who suffers from the disease of addiction you await the phone call. There will be a phone call. The sincere hope is that the call will be from the addict themselves, telling you they’ve had enough, that they’re ready to stop, ready to try something new. Of course though, you fear the other call, the sad nocturnal chime from a friend or relative telling you it’s too late, she’s gone.

Frustratingly it’s not a call you can ever make it must be received. It is impossible to intervene.

I’ve known Amy Winehouse for years. When I first met her around Camden she was just some twit in a pink satin jacket shuffling round bars with mutual friends, most of whom were in cool Indie bands or peripheral Camden figures Withnail-ing their way through life on impotent charisma. Carl Barrat told me that “Winehouse” (which I usually called her and got a kick out of cos it’s kind of funny to call a girl by her surname) was a jazz singer, which struck me as a bizarrely anomalous in that crowd. To me with my limited musical knowledge this information placed Amy beyond an invisible boundary of relevance; “Jazz singer? She must be some kind of eccentric” I thought. I chatted to her anyway though, she was after all, a girl, and she was sweet and peculiar but most of all vulnerable.

I was myself at that time barely out of rehab and was thirstily seeking less complicated women so I barely reflected on the now glaringly obvious fact that Winehouse and I shared an affliction, the disease of addiction. All addicts, regardless of the substance or their social status share a consistent and obvious symptom; they’re not quite present when you talk to them. They communicate to you through a barely discernible but un-ignorable veil. Whether a homeless smack head troubling you for 50p for a cup of tea or a coked-up, pinstriped exec foaming off about his “speedboat” there is a toxic aura that prevents connection. They have about them the air of elsewhere, that they’re looking through you to somewhere else they’d rather be. And of course they are. The priority of any addict is to anaesthetise the pain of living to ease the passage of the day with some purchased relief.

From time to time I’d bump into Amy she had good banter so we could chat a bit and have a laugh, she was “a character” but that world was riddled with half cut, doped up chancers, I was one of them, even in early recovery I was kept afloat only by clinging to the bodies of strangers so Winehouse, but for her gentle quirks didn’t especially register.

Then she became massively famous and I was pleased to see her acknowledged but mostly baffled because I’d not experienced her work and this not being the 1950’s I wondered how a “jazz singer” had achieved such cultural prominence. I wasn’t curious enough to do anything so extreme as listen to her music or go to one of her gigs, I was becoming famous myself at the time and that was an all consuming experience. It was only by chance that I attended a Paul Weller gig at the Roundhouse that I ever saw her live.

I arrived late and as I made my way to the audience through the plastic smiles and plastic cups I heard the rolling, wondrous resonance of a female vocal. Entering the space I saw Amy on stage with Weller and his band; and then the awe. The awe that envelops when witnessing a genius. From her oddly dainty presence that voice, a voice that seemed not to come from her but from somewhere beyond even Billie and Ella, from the font of all greatness. A voice that was filled with such power and pain that it was at once entirely human yet laced with the divine. My ears, my mouth, my heart and mind all instantly opened. Winehouse. Winehouse? Winehouse! That twerp, all eyeliner and lager dithering up Chalk Farm Road under a back-combed barnet, the lips that I’d only seen clenching a fishwife fag and dribbling curses now a portal for this holy sound. So now I knew. She wasn’t just some hapless wannabe, yet another pissed up nit who was never gonna make it, nor was she even a ten-a-penny-chanteuse enjoying her fifteen minutes. She was a fucking genius.

Shallow fool that I am I now regarded her in a different light, the light that blazed down from heaven when she sang. That lit her up now and a new phase in our friendship began. She came on a few of my TV and radio shows, I still saw her about but now attended to her with a little more interest. Publicly though, Amy increasingly became defined by her addiction. Our media though is more interested in tragedy than talent, so the ink began to defect from praising her gift to chronicling her downfall. The destructive personal relationships, the blood soaked ballet slippers, the aborted shows, that youtube madness with the baby mice. In the public perception this ephemeral tittle-tattle replaced her timeless talent. This and her manner in our occasional meetings brought home to me the severity of her condition. Addiction is a serious disease; it will end with jail, mental institutions or death. I was 27 years old when through the friendship and help of Chip Somers of the treatment centre, Focus12 I found recovery, through Focus I was introduced to support fellowships for alcoholics and drug addicts which are very easy to find and open to anybody with a desire to stop drinking and without which I would not be alive.

Now Amy Winehouse is dead, like many others whose unnecessary deaths have been retrospectively romanticised, at 27 years old. Whether this tragedy was preventable or not is now irrelevant. It is not preventable today. We have lost a beautiful and talented woman to this disease. Not all addicts have Amy’s incredible talent. Or Kurt’s or Jimi’s or Janis’s, some people just get the affliction. All we can do is adapt the way we view this condition, not as a crime or a romantic affectation but as a disease that will kill. We need to review the way society treats addicts, not as criminals but as sick people in need of care. We need to look at the way our government funds rehabilitation. It is cheaper to rehabilitate an addict than to send them to prison, so criminalisation doesn’t even make economic sense. Not all of us know someone with the incredible talent that Amy had but we all know drunks and junkies and they all need help and the help is out there. All they have to do is pick up the phone and make the call. Or not. Either way, there will be a phone call.”

 

May this gifted and talented singer truly now rest in peace!

 

About Ed Bonilla

Ed is an entertainment news writer, and founder of TOMORROW'S NEWS. He always keeps a watchful eye on who and what's trending in the entertainment world. His articles focus on tomorrow's news today, including celebrity news, film news, music news and so much more!

What Are Your Thoughts On This?