Was it about Winehouse or the music? asks Sasha Frere-Jones in his tribute to the lady who had made American soul a viable category. Russel Brand shares his friendship with Winehouse on his blog and recalls watching her perform for the first time, after years of seeing her as "just some twit in a pink satin jacket shuffling round bars"
So now I knew. She wasn't just some hapless wannabe, yet another pissed-up nit who was never gonna make it, nor was she even a ten-a-penny-chanteuse enjoying her fifteen minutes. She was a fucking genius...
...Publicly though, Amy increasingly became defined by her addiction. Our media though is more interested in tragedy than talent, so the ink began to defect from praising her gift to chronicling her downfall. The destructive personal relationships, the blood-soaked ballet slippers, the aborted shows, that YouTube madness with the baby mice. In the public perception this ephemeral tittle-tattle replaced her timeless talent. This and her manner in our occasional meetings brought home to me the severity of her condition.
We may never know was it Winehouse or the music that interested people. Now that she is gone, we just hope the effulgent chanteuse stayed a little longer.