What is it with our obsession with music stars and death? More importantly, why is it that many times, music starts are worth much more dead than they are alive? Especially when we lose them too soon?
The most recent example of this sad fact is the death of Amy Winehouse, who tragically lost her battle on July 23, 2011. It was well documented that Amy had a long struggle with addiction, and though reports claim that no traces of illicit drugs were found in her system at the time of her death, it may be safe to say that her struggles had at least a little something to do with her passing into the next world.
And of course, she’s not the first. Amy Winehouse joins a LONG list of successful musicians, artists and performers that have left this earth too soon. And, undoubtedly, she’ll eventually be placed in the company of those same folks in terms of album sales when her posthumous material is released. It’s sad to say, but Amy just might experience more success in death that she did in life as an R&B artist.
And truthfully, we as fans are the ones that contribute to that fact. Music heads have a history of propping our favorite artists up even more in death. Just think about it: Bob Marley lost his battle to cancer at the age of 36 and has become an iconic figure not just in reggae but in all music circles (his Legend album is the best selling reggae album of all time, not to mention all the merchandise.) Jimi Hendrix only released a handful of music during his 27 years, but is seen as the greatest guitarist to walk the face of the earth, and resonates with several generations of rock fans. Kurt Cobain committed suicide, but by many accounts is viewed as the godfather of the grunge scene.
Janis Joplin and Jim Morrisson both passed away at 27 years of age and are also seen as rock royalty to this day. And, in terms of the Hip Hop generation, there haven’t been tow deaths bigger than those of Tupac Shakur and Christopher “Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace, who are celebrated like no other emcees, dead or alive.
And now, Amy is gone. It’s messed up that we tend to celebrate our musical greats more when they’re gone, but with us being human, that’s just the way it works. I guess the most ironic thing in Amy Winehouse’s death is that her music helped so many people get through so many hard times in their lives, but it unfortunately wasn’t enough to help her get through her own. Hopefully we can learn from what happened to Amy and use it to better ourselves, be we fans or musicians ourselves, while also keeping her family in our thoughts and prayers.
Just had to get that off my chest yall. Hopefully I can do better next time. R.I.P., Amy.