Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sunday Times of London: Can Amy Winehouse be saved?

From tomorrow's Sunday Times of London (UK):

From the mayhem of the past year, if Amy Winehouse has learnt anything it might be the terrible truth contained in the saying “be careful what you wish for, you might just get it”. Since giving up her whimsical teenage plan to become a roller-skating waitress, the 24-year-old Winehouse has reached a summit that few pop stars even dream of; and, as it appears, promptly thrown herself off it.

To recap: her hit Rehab has soundtracked the past 22 months; her second album, Back to Black, was the biggest seller in the UK in 2007 –the album has now sold 9m copies worldwide, making it one of the biggest sellers of the 21st century; at the 2008 Grammys ceremony Winehouse received five awards, including the so-called “big 3” for song, record and pop-vocal album of the year, and she also became the first Brit to win best new artist since the jazz and soul singer Sade in 1986.

She’s been hailed “a style icon” by the fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld of Chanel, who called her beehive hairdo “an inspiration”. She was compared to Edith Piaf, Judy Garland and Ella Fitzgerald by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber. Her doting pop peers include George Michael, who has saluted her as the best singer and songwriter of her generation. In a poll of British under-25-year-old girls – who know her simply as “Amy” the way they know Kate Moss as “Kate” – she was voted “ultimate heroine”. On the home front, in May 2007 she married Blake Fielder-Civil, the love of her life, “my Blake – the handsomest man you will ever meet”, as she called him during a recent performance.

And what has all this brought her? A severe drug habit that may have permanently damaged her lungs. (The picture of Amy sucking on a crack pipe that appeared on the front page of a tabloid in January confirmed, in lurid detail, precisely the nature of a problem that those close to her had been aware of for some time.)

And a drink problem, allied to a proneness to get punchy in public. “If I have 20 units I can get violent, particularly if I am unhappy,” Winehouse said in 2006, and went on to prove it outside a couple of pubs in Camden.

Click here to read the rest. This proves that fame has huge consequences.

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