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17th Apr 2024

Why can’t we leave Amy Winehouse alone?

Anna Martin

Amy winehouse

Amy Winehouse is back in the headlines this week

A new flick about her life, Back to Black, directed by Sam Taylor Johnson has hit cinemas and with that comes media attention – and not all of it has been positive.

Though it promised to shed new light on the singing icon’s life and career, the photos from the set suggest we’re going to be fed the same old story.

Actress Marisa Abela, who plays Amy outside London jazz bar Ronnie Scott’s, is seen with the singer’s signature beehive in disarray; black eyeliner smeared around her eyes; a distraught expression on her face.

Though I’m disappointed by the whole thing, I can’t say I’m surprised, especially when you look back on the media’s vulture-like history with the singer.

Since the release of the movie a number of articles have resurfaced about Amy, rehashing the events of that grim day 13 years ago.

amy winehouse
Amy Winehouse Credit: Getty

Before her death from alcohol poisoning at age 27, Amy was many things: a brilliant songwriter, a singer with a voice like velvet, and a fashion icon.

Yet she was also tabloid fodder from the moment her hit song Rehab was released in 2006. She became a quick way for the paparazzi to make a buck and a punchline on late-night TV shows.

On top of this, her rise came as social media started to become an everyday commodity, putting her demons and struggles on display for the whole world to watch.

This July will mark 12 years since her death.

Despite achieving so much in her painfully short career – record deals, Brit Awards, Grammys, adoration from fans and her peers – we will always be faced with the knowledge that she could have achieved so much more.

So why has this movie been made? I’m going to go out on a limb here and state the obvious, it comes down to the same greed that followed Amy since she started climbing the charts.

amy winehouse
Amy Winehouse Credit: Getty

Now there could also be an element of guilt at play, the idea that we didn’t try to understand her struggles in the first place and maybe even a sense that we were responsible for her early death.

Is there any value in revisiting a life that for many fans and family members of Winehouse still feels so alive right now?

Don’t worry though, actress Marisa seemed to get something out of her prep for the role, describing her experience of losing weight for the role as “really positive”.

Yes, mimicking the appearance of a very real, very dangerous eating disorder that Amy battled was positive. I’ll leave it at that.