I must admit – I was pretty taken aback when I heard the news that Amy Winehouse died earlier today. I can remember being moved hearing her voice sing this Beatles song:
I thought Lauryn Hill was on the comeback trail going Motown with her sound back then around 03′, only to then look at the screen and see Ms Winehouse was the one belting it out. Then I heard that joint she sang over the Nas “Made You Look” beat (yup, Salaam Remi had his touch producing her wonderfully too…)… I took notice.
I must admit that I didn’t buy the first album when it came out, but bought it about a week after Back to Black, which in my eyes I’ve always thought was a classic album that helped pave the way for most of the Brit sisters who have come out down that same track (yes, even Adele). She wore her heart on her sleeve on that album, and that combination of Mark Ronsons production, the Daptones and the rawness of her soulful voice defined post-millenial soul in a very mechanically techno world of manufactured music.
Her struggles have been made public, and although I would never wish that on any individual, it seems that it comes with the territory of having your personality off stage become just as much a part of the showcase. This is not the place to list hers or anyones struggles. But here’s my point:
I was thinking about the number of artists of whose body of work I respect as a fellow creative, and although I am a Christ follower, as people in the hip hop world say, “Game recognize game”. You can’t deny quality or talent. But I was thinking as one who has a heart to see people within the arts, music especially to recognize the Source and Redeemer of that culture, how often after hearing an Amy Winehouse song like “Rehab”, or “Tears Dry on their Own” or “Back to Black” did I ever pray for sister Amy, and other artists that are out there wearing their struggling hearts on their sleeves.
From this point on, I’ve made it a point to pray for people within the “industry” or “culture” of music, who through their art, are pressing in to try to seek truth, redemption, comfort or peace.
It can only found in the ultimate Creative Being.
I’ve also decided in memory of Amy Winehouses’ memory that I will pray for artists like her, and their families (hers included at this time of tragedy), every time I hear a Amy Winehouse song. And believe me: they’ll be playing a lot over the next couple of weeks.
Celebrate life – pray and help those who are struggling through it. It’s what Jesus would’ve done for people like Ms Winehouse.