The troubled singing sensation, Amy Winehouse, was found dead at her north London home on Saturday. She was only 27, but had had a long battle with drink and drugs that overshadowed her musical career.
She won widespread acclaim, aged 20, with her 2003 debut album, Frank. She seemed to be on top of the world when she won five Grammy awards off the back of her 2006 second album "Back to Black" and the hit single "Rehab."
AdvertisementBut she toppled over too soon. Whatever her prodigious talents, the darker side in her, a singular unwillingness to reform, could be said to have proved her undoing eventually.
There were warning signs when she was only 12 years old. Enrolled at the Sylvia Young Theatre School, she was expelled not long after for getting her nose pierced. Her parents had split three years earlier, and she was so self-willed that little could be done or was done to rein her in.
In recent years, she acknowledged struggling with eating disorders and told a newspaper that she had been diagnosed as manic depressive but refused to take medication. Soon accounts of her erratic behavior, canceled concerts and drink and drug-fueled nights began to multiply.
She had to pull out of her European comeback tour following a disastrous opening performance in Serbia on June 18.
She was booed at the performance in Belgrade, as she appeared to be too drunk to sing. Some 20,000 people gathered for the highly-promoted concert at the sixth-century Kalemegdan fortress, but many soon left.
During the concert, which lasted about 90 minutes, Winehouse could only mumble some of the lyrics, failing to follow her band.
Winehouse left the stage twice, with many fans showing their displeasure despite her band's attempts to calm the crowd.
Daily Telegraph rock critic Neil McCormick said he was "utterly shocked" at her death. He said she had appeared focused when giving an "incredible performance" for a recent studio recording of a duet with Tony Bennett."It's deeply sad. It's the most completely tragic waste of talent that I can remember," he added.
Paul Bentley wrote in Daily Mail, "...the immeasurably gifted singer is unlikely to be remembered for her talents, which were so often starved; drowned by drink and tranquillised by drug abuse.
"Amy Winehouse's death was one foretold by gruesome pictures of bloody plimsolls and near death experiences from drugs publicly retold by her lovers. It almost seems unsurprising that, in death, Winehouse joins many of her heroes - Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison - all of whom died aged just 27."