One of the great talents of her generation, musician Amy Winehouse was found dead by ambulance crews called to her home in the Camden section of London this morning. Though there has been wide speculation that Winehouse succumbed to a drug overdose after a long and public battle with addiction, the official cause of death will not be known until after an autopsy is performed in the next few days. The young singer’s death (she was only 27 years old) has already prompted an outpouring of sympathy from friends and collaborators as well a lot of recaps of her brief but brilliant career and her personal troubles.
Like some legendary rockstars who came before her, Winehouse’s oversized personality and a self-destructive streak that matched her creative energies seemed to invite morbid speculation long before her actual death and it has not gone unnoticed that when it came her passing placed her in the infamous “27 Forever club” who’s membership includes Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Kurt Cobain.
Somewhat obscured in all the tabloid appearances of recent years was Winehouse’s immense musical contribution. Although fans had been waiting for a follow up to the Grammy-winning Back to Black since 2006, there were plans as recently as last year for Winehouse’s participation in a ‘supergroup’ with Questlove and Raphael Saadiq and it is unrecorded sessions like these which may be the biggest blow to music fans–and close collaborators, who got the chance to see the the real Amy Winehouse shine in the studio, rather than watching her public persona wither and fade.