Amy Winehouse’s Early Death Was Unavoidable, Expert Says

Jul 23rd, 2011 // 22 Comments
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Amy Winehouse had been on the wrong track for years before her death at age 27, but now that she’s passed (and joined a crowd of late music legends in the process), we know that the music world will be asking itself a lot of difficult questions. Just for perspective, we reached out to Eric Segalstad and Josh Hunter, the authors of The 27s: The Greatest Myth Of Rock & Roll, a 2008 book that studies the history of artists who’ve died way too young. Could Amy have managed to escape the fate of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Kurt Cobain? Their point of view — which the authors shared in our exclusive chat — might surprise you. Read below.

Segalstad and Hunter were hardly shocked by Winehouse’s early passing. In fact, their book includes a rather eerie passage referencing the possibility. At one point in The 27s, the authors mention a quote from Janis Joplin, who died in 1970 after a dark battle with substance abuse.

‘People, whether they know it or not, like their blues singers miserable. Maybe my audience can enjoy my music more if they think I’m destroying myself.’ (Janis Joplin) Cue Amy Winehouse,” the authors wrote.

Read what the experts said about Winehouse’s death below:

“I think the reason that we wrote about that in 2008 was, the media and her fans were already concerned about her lifestyle and the track that she was on. You can see blogs saying she’s definitely going to die at 27. If Janis believes her fans wanted to see her destroy herself, I really would have to believe that Amy felt similar feelings for her own fans. I don’t think it was avoidable,” Hunter said.

“She made her own choices. But it isn’t helping when every time you do something wrong, it’s on YouTube and major TV outlets across the world,” Segalstad added.

(And that was certainly true in Winehouse’s case):

Segalstad also cited similarities between the final performance of the late Jimi Hendrix and Winehouse’s tragic, out-of-control performance in Belgrade several weeks ago. For both Hendrix and Winehouse, it was clear in their live performances that “they had just kind of lost something. They had this incredible talent, burned brightly, and its the same kind of story told all over again.”

Winehouse is perhaps the most famous new entrant in the 27 club (aka the Forever 27 Club) since Cobain’s death in 1994, and Hunter pointed out that the very emergence of the dead-at-27 phenomenon may now weigh on young, troubled musicians. (Winehouse, who according to certain dubious/sensational reports actually was conscious of and feared the trend.)

Why is 27 still such a deadly number?

“What happens when they’re 25, 26 and they’re living this hard lifestyle?” Hunter asked. As musicians, “they’re expected to be a little rebellious and expected to be on the cover of star magazine?… Amy was two months away from her 28th birthday. What is going through her head?”

Let us know where you come out on Winehouse’s passing on Facebook, Twitter or in the comments below.

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  1. ron

    Why do all the most talented and artistic DIE at such an early age? Why do they keep taking our future away? I grew up with all those artist who were way to brilliant to handle this dumba@# life we must live. Now all we have to hold on to is justin bever. NO!!!!!! I am glad we will forever have JIMI… KURT… JANIS… BRIAN… AMY.. MR MOJORISIN…to forever fill our lives. I hope we will never have another!!!!

  2. Loonesta

    Amy’s body could have given out this sad morning from all the prior abuse it had experienced over the last 3 years or so. Tales told by her former husband of her having crack-seizures have been easy to find in certain UK tabloids. She’d also been diagnosed as having first stage emphysema at age 25 but did not seem to have stopped smoking cigarettes (judging from recent photos) or what-have-you. This does not have to be a drug-related death, though the odds are stacked that way. What I want to know is – who made that phone call at around 4pm this afternoon to the emergency services? Was there someone in her flat w/ her at the time of her death? The police calling this a “suspicious” death makes it seem like there was no visual evidence of some kind of drug or paraphernalia for use thereof.

  3. damn, R.I.P. to Amy Winehouse. the world and life as a whole is
    pretty eerie, 27 club? man…did anybody reach out to her? or anything?
    hope so, but people need to stop acting like stuff like this can never happen,
    and the sad fact is?…it happens ALL THE TIME. instead of worrying what Jennifer
    Lopez and Marc Anthony is going through, we need to reach out to people who
    need serious help. ima pray for people who continue to go through life ills like these,
    May she return to where the dust is and find some sector of peace.

  4. What a tremendous loss … RIP Amy, we will miss you

  5. We all love Amy, We miss you

  6. RIP, Amy Winehouse, The end of a sad life. So young with so much potential.She joins the ranks of drug-addled rock stars Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain and Jim Morrison, who died at the same age.
    Beautiful singer, sad loss, at least her demons are no longer tormenting her, rest in peace and tranquility. My deepest condolences to her friends and family at this sad time. God love you all.

  7. Samm

    Once a junkie, always a junkie. A lot of folks saying nice things about her now but she couldn’t pull herself together to perform several months back so maybe she had already given the world all she had to give – musically and otherwise. Her musical style just wasn’t for me; can’t say I’ll miss her at all. Certainly not worthy of the likes of Morrison & Joplin, either.

  8. Guest

    Yes, she has a couple of song that are good but c’mon it’s not like Michael Jackson died. She was always drunk, smoking crack and partying…she’s not an explame for society…stop acting like it is a major loss.

  9. Jennifer Perez

    Great sadness..terrible that she lost her life..Even more awful that SO many people loved her, yet she felt so unloved and so unworthy that she took her life by abusing her body to the point that it couldn’t handle anymore and quit. God bless her family that now has to try to move on knowing that they failed her as much as she failed herself. Every day they will wake up and wonder what they didn’t do that they could have done. We need as a society to give a greater level of help to those who are addicted, Stricter consequences for their behavior and no choices in whether or not they get the help. Society failed her as much as she failed herself. I hope you find yourself at the peace you so fiercely sought Amy. God bless you and keep you in the palm of his hand angel.

  10. LIKE FOREAL? IT IS A BIG LOSS if i or anyone else die u knoe why bcuz we all are humans and god create us she is a big loss bcuz u dont knoe wut she was passing thru u dont knoe wh y she used so much drugs :) maybe she fell alone maybe something happens to her when she was younger u dont knoe wat she was passing thru so stop sayinq that she wasnt a big loss cuz everybody that dies is a big big loss trust me ;) who cares if u liked her songs or not ? she wasnt a good example for anyone but she made wat she want to do maybe her dream was to die at 27 maybe her dream was to live her life crazyyy maybe her dream was to be an artist but she want it to be normal like us :)

  11. jessica mcneill

    I think it is crazy that most of the comments about amys death is that they r in shock or disbelief…..how obvious does it get? The poor girl obviously and with no doubt to the world she had a serious problem….someone should of had her commited against her will if need be…..so sad nobody did…….ms. winehouse was an awesome artist…and i just recently started to understand her music… she had so much pain underneath it all….she almost reminds me of myself….what a beatiful girl lost forever……this saddens me deaply…….i pray u r in a happy place now amy…..pray for me……RIP

  12. jamo

    R.I.P you smart baby.still u will read in our minds.AMEN

  13. Lisa

    :-) Thanks for saying that. You must be a very lovely person.

  14. Lisa

    The above comment about being a lovely person was directed at Kaima La Fkn Flaka.

  15. Amy you were a good singer and very Talented so much loving music you brought us

    I Love you Amy

    Goodnight little princess
    see u soon.

  16. Rest In Paradise Amy

  17. joe bloggs

    I hope Chunk Ugger of Young Turks webcast is happy he was proved right about Ms. Winehouse being not long for this world at the rate she was going. Some people are just cowardly punks who like to rip folks they see as low-hanging fruit. This abuse came from a man who calls himself “progressive.” Glad he was sacked by MSNBC.

  18. Gunmoll

    hey Loon….
    Amy had a friday dr. appt. for a “check up” ….the day before she died. She went out that evening…played the drums, was very happy and had a wonderful time. She had body guards/friends around her at home….She told “them” she was tired and went to lay down…where the same person, went to check on her, found her on her bed, dead. She had died about 4 hrs earlier. Its very common for “people” to clean up the area, before the authorites are called…i.e. booze, pill bottles, foil, wOtever…As ugly as the press has been to Amy, I would have done it too, in a heartbeat…no more fodder for the blOody wretched newhounds. I loved Amy so much and I cried like a baby at her passing…..When the tox screens come back I’ll be curious to see what she had in her body. Alcohol & drug abuse tend to be harder on womens bodies….so no telling what went wrong….a body can only take so much. I’ve known people in recovery that have given up all substances, but no matter what, can’t seem to put down the cigs..its an ugly habit that must be a bitch to quit…. My heart goes out to her mum & dad, mostly…..tc.

  19. Ashley

    addiction is such a hard thing to kick. It literally grabs a hold of you physically, mentally and emotionally. i pray that the medical community will find a way to help people quit in a humane way. talking from experinence it is the fear of the pain and what you have to go through to stop that makes it so hard. Dont people think that if there was a magic pill to make a person normal again we would take it.Societys opinnion is to let the addict suffer that way they wont want to do it again. Sorry it doesnt work that way. i dream of a way out of this cycle to mother, daughter, sister and wife again. i was once pretty now i cant stand looking in the mirror. believe it or not alot of addicts wish for death so they wont have to go through all the pain they and love ones experience. help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Rebecca Bayless

    Seriously- what an EGO you have!! WHY would you just ASSUME that YOUR opinion counts, or even is WANTED!! No one ASKED you who the greatest musicians were! No one wants to hear it! You are not EDUCATED enough – SERIOUSLY- to even take a STAB at who compares with whom!! It is FAR better to remain silent and THOUGHT an IDIOT, than to OPEN YOUR MOUTH AND REMOVE ALL DOUBT!
    If you can DISH IT OUT…..you’d BETTER be ABLE to TAKE it!!!!!!

    Grow up. Get real.

  21. Rebecca Bayless

    By the way- my comment was directed at “GUEST”; who was, evidently, too EMBARASSED by what he/she was “spewing”, to actually leave a REAL name. I WOULD have said, “God given”, but- seriously- I believe he/ she was just HATCHED!

  22. Marissa Fink

    I never liked Amy Winehouse or her music, but I still feel really sad that she fell victim to something as avoidable as addiction. She was a talented person who had a lot in store for her, and it all went down the drain just because of some bad decisions!!!

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