She was denied a visa to enter the US, presumably after being arrested and fined in Norway for cannabis possession (or the even more recent video of apparent pipe huffing), and she had to be sprung from rehab to perform in London, but the 50th Annual Grammies were all Amy’s. The girl who gives Pete Doherty a run for his drug money gave Kanye West a slight beating and topped all honors with 5 Grammies out of the six for which she was nominated. So, can we all agree she’s legit?
I can understand why people might be sick of the drama. It seems every other week has another popstar stumbling out of a club and into rehab only to emerge weeks later with a renewed spirit and ultimately short-lived sobriety. It’s hypocritical and it’s childish and it’s self serving…yes. But these are entertainers we’re talking about here and since when did pop and rock fans become so fucking self righteous, and even worse, puritanical!?
Just the same, some people have heard enough of the bullshit. But have they heard the music? Anyone who dismisses her 5-time winning album Back to Black as anything less than fantastic probably hasn’t heard enough. I was promptly (and correctly) reprimanded for calling it the best soul record in decades, but I don’t think any serious, soul loving music fan can NOT like this album. Half the tracks are backed by the outrageously good Dap Kings and producer Mark Ronson understands how to capture and combine good sounds. Oh, and the songs are catchy as hell.
Now that the Grand Dame of dopey awards shows has given Winehouse a blessing, will the naysayers finally acknowledge that there something there? Something worth caring about? Something beyond the hype and tabloidism? If Winehouse miraculously completes her recovery and produces another album of its caliber, will we rally around her like so many (rightly) rally around Mary J. Blige? I doubt it, but for one night Amy Winehouse got some respect. She may have twitched through her performance like a rusty marionette, but her vocals were on and her presence was enthralling. How many artists today can say that and walk away with six Grammies?