Bad Amy Makes Good

Amy Winehouse 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?


Amy Winehouse 2008 Grammy Performance from London

Previously on GLONO

9 thoughts on “Bad Amy Makes Good”

  1. I can’t imagine that Grammy wins ever prove anything to anybody (other than that an artist has gained mainstream acceptance). The people who dump Winehouse in the same category as Christina Aguilera will just point back to the 2000 Grammys to show who won Best New Artist that year…

    If anything, a big Grammy night could hurt her “real soul” credentials. I.e., how many Grammys has Sharon Jones taken home?

  2. She’s the real thing. Pipe huffer or soul mistress.

    “MY BLAKE, INCARCERATED!” Best line of the night, next to Vince Gill.

  3. Yes, I do. And while WE may not care about a Grammy, you can bet it means something to the average Joe/Jane on the street who buys 5 CDs a year. Just look at this week’s top iTunes tracks. Suddenly, “Rehab” is in the Top Ten (#8 today) and three other Grammy performers or winners are also back in the Top Ten (Rihanna, Chris Brown, Alicia Keys).

    So yeah, I think the Grammies still carry some weight.

  4. What was the Vince Gill comment? And if Natalie Cole’s commentary wasn’t enough, apparently Mick Jagger is now jumping on the bandwagon with a swipe at Winehouse.

    That’s right: the dude from The Rolling Stones is telling people to just say no.

  5. Who the fuck is Mick Jagger?

    And Gill’s comment was: “I just got an award from a Beatle. Has that happened to you yet, Kanye?”

    That’s a pretty close paraphrase. Ringo had just handed him his Grammy for Best Country Album.

  6. Keith, too!

    Keith: “She should get her act together.” The often-addled rocker paused, then added: “Apart from that, I have got nothing to say to the bitch.”

    Mick: “When we were experimenting with drugs, little was known about the effects,” Jagger said. “In our time there were no rehab centers like today. Anyway, I did not know about them.”

    What is this world coming to? We need fewer people like Mick Jagger and more people like Bez:

    “Pete Doherty is talked about all the time but he’s a fucking lightweight. He spends more time in rehab than he does taking drugs for fuck’s sake. Winehouse is the same, she’s got a lot to prove. There are too many part-time rock and rollers these days. They should get out and have a good time. I’ve not spent a minute in rehab in 25 years and I’m alright.”

    Now that’s the appropriate rock and roll attitude!

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