Amy Winehouse is Dead at 27, like Janice Joplin

Amy Winehouse at Eurockéennes de Belfort (Fest...Amy Winehouse in 2007 at Eurockéennes Festival Image via Wikipedia
Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London home by the police, yesterday afternoon, 23 July. She was only 27 - just like Janice Joplin who died at the same age...in 1970. Forty years separate them, yet they share the same sort of amazing trajectory in their career and life:  huge success and a desperate addition to drugs and alcohol. Both were known for striking vocals and a love for soul and jazz.

There the similarities end. Janice was born in Texas in a middle class white American family: her mother worked in a college, her father was an engineer at Texaco. Amy was born in London, the daughter of a taxi driver of Russian origin and an English pharmacist. In both the girls' families, music had an important place but while Janice wavered between painting and singing, finally becoming famous with her break through hit A piece of my heart only two years before her death, Amy was an instant success at twenty with her debut album Frank, followed three years later by her 5 Grammy award-winning album Back to Black. Perhaps her single biggest hit was Rehab, singing her refusal to go through rehab and renounce drugs.

In that refusal to give up drugs and rebellion, in their love for soul music, in their incredibly beautiful voices that express the whole range of human emotions, Amy and Janice are twin souls. Every time I hear Amy sing Will you still love me tomorrow, a 1960s hit by the Shirelles, I think of Janice.

Good-bye Amy, I'm going to miss you just as I miss Janice...

 Janis Joplin
    


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