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Star is new poster child for harm drugs can do

Amy Winehouse is exactly what parents have been waiting for since Elvis Presley’s hips first gyrated on television screens in 1956.
Rock and roll music and musicians have always been at the forefront of arguments between rebellious youth and their uptight, out-of-touch parents.
Whether swinging provocatively to the beat, giving intoxicated or drug-laden performances or recording the “devil’s music” so that when played backwards it expresses Satanic messages, musicians have been under the parental microscope for generations.
Although the music industry has lost some mighty fine artists due to drug use and debauchery, it hasn’t produced many icons whose drug-crazed antics have been as prolonged as those of Amy Winehouse, the appropriately named British pop star now angling for an early grave at age 22.
But the possibility of dying hasn’t deterred her. To fast-living youth who hang on their musical idol’s every words –– and acts –– the prospect of death is also just part of the appeal of the “lifestyle.”
Of course, Winehouse isn’t the first horrifying example of drug use by musical heroes. We have had the members of the 27 Club, Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison of The Doors and Kurt Cobain of Nirvana.
But none of them lived on the edge long enough to cause such widespread negative reaction as Winehouse has inspired.
Strangely, the loss of a Presley, Hendrix or Joplin hasn’t been enough to steer all kids to the path of good. Instead it has taken Winehouse, sitting on top of the world only to come crashing down due to drugs, to make teens and parents alike sit up and take sober notice.
While Winehouse is no Presley, she was on her way to becoming a superstar. Her album Back to Black sold more than 1.5 million copies in the UK and more than 1.3 million in the U.S. The multi-platinum album spent 57 weeks in the top UK album chart.
Back to Black was the biggest-selling record in the UK for 2007, quite a feat considering it was released in October 2006.
Going into 2008 Winehouse was a rising star with loads of potential and an ever-widening fan base. She had suffered a hiccup or two along the way with show cancellations due to “exhaustion,” and paparazzi photographs of Winehouse and her husband in an alleged domestic disturbance. But it wasn’t until the past few months that she experienced –– and we have had to witness –– the brunt of what excessive drug use can do to a person, and to a singing career.
In and out of hospitals and rehab facilities, Winehouse has started a downward spiral of health and legal issues.
As recently as Sunday, it was reported Winehouse had been diagnosed with early stages of emphysema, resulting in her lungs operating at 70 percent capacity. She also reportedly has an irregular heartbeat. The singer’s father stated these problems were caused by chain cigarette smoking and crack cocaine usage.
It’s been rumored that if Winehouse keeps up her downward trek she may be forced to wear an oxygen mask to live. Although the singer is worth an alleged £10 million she is quickly fading away – literally and metaphorically. The constant controversy is not only firing up the usual conservative groups who would veto the woman’s music, but it’s causing some of her most loyal fans to disavow her.
As long as Amy Winehouse continues to destroy her life and career with drugs she will remain the poster child for a human train wreck across the globe.
Matt Cook is a staff writer at the Ennis Daily News and can be reached at matt@ennisdailynews.com

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Posted by on Jun 26 2008. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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