By Ahmet Abdulaziz ….
23rd July was the 8th anniversary of the death of Amy Winehouse. She died on this date in 2011 in her apartment in London. She died very young, at the age of just 27 years.
The age of 27 has been considered as a prime age, but for a celebrity like Amy, this was the end of the road.
Marilyn Monroe had also died young at the age of 36 in 1962. Like Amy she had died when she was at the top of her career.
But both had their problems, peculiarly relevant to the celebrities of show business. It is not easy to meet the demands of life in front of shining lights, with journalists chasing everywhere, away from the normal world, behind closed doors, meeting strenuous schedules fixed by their managers and promoters. The life of a celebrity is indeed not an easy life.
Many show business big names have had a difficult life behind the scenes. Most of them had their own psychological problems, and problematic relationships. A large number of them failed to lead a happy married life.
Some of them manage to survive all these difficulties, whereas some fail in this test.
Amy Winehouse was one such celebrity. Born in a middle class Jewish family in London, she learned playing music at an early age, and went to a drama theatre to learn acting. At a young age she started performing on stage.
She did not take long to become a well recognised singer particularly due to her exceptionally different voice and style. Her debut album “Frank” became an instant success in the UK in 2003. From that point onwards, Amy constantly moved upwards in the music world. For her album “Frank” she was nominated for the Mercury Prize.
But that was just the beginning, her next album “Back to Black” shocked the music world and music lovers world over. This album led to five Grammy Awards. She also became the first British woman to win that number of Grammys.
Winehouse won three Ivor Novello Awards from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors in 2001, Best Contemporary Song for “Stronger Than Me” in 2007.
In 2008 she once again won the Best Contemporary Song for “Rehab”. She also won the 2007 Brit Award for Best British Female Artist having been nominated for Best British Album with “Back to Black”.
However, with all these successes in her profession she had entered into a different world to keep herself away from the pressures that she could not bear. Plagued by drug and alcohol addiction, she went through some very tough periods in her life.
Again and again I watched the video of her last live concert at the Kalemegdan Fortress, Belgrade, Serbia on 18th June 2011.
She was totally in a depressive state and badly under the influence of drugs and alcohol. She kept trying to control herself and perform on stage, but nothing was under her control anymore. Her musicians did their best to provide help, but she could not perform properly on stage. She constantly stopped singing, arguing with her fellow musicians, sitting, and walking away. It was very obvious that she was in big pain. Her voice was no more her own. The voice that she was known for was in fact not there. She, her fellow musicians, producer, manager and above all her fans felt themselves not just shocked but in a state of deep grief, witnessing the downfall of a remarkable musician, singer and celebrity.
Ultimately, on 23rd July 2011, Amy Winehouse was found dead in her bed. She was just 27.