Amy Winehouse among musical talents gone too soon

Rarely, though, were Winehouse’s troubles romantic or appealing. Though a thoroughly captivating presence _ all beehive and tattoos and candor _ Winehouse always cut a desperate figure. Her struggles with substances and bipolar disorder (she said she declined to take medication for it) were painfully evident.

In death, her famous boast of “no, no, no” to rehab only sounds empty. The hard truths of addiction don’t fit neatly into pop tunes _ or morbid 27 Clubs _ but play out over years of toil.

Early death typically mythologizes pop stars, inflating their reputation. Pop culture writer Chuck Klosterman, in his book “Killing Yourself to Live,” wondered why “the greatest career move any musician can make is to stop breathing.”

The posthumous releases from Winehouse will surely follow, and her legacy will grow. But hopefully mythologizing will be resisted.

Winehouse’s death, an unfortunate but unsurprising end to a long, public decline, might be best remembered not just as another tragic loss but as a modern portrait of how untrue those rock myths really are.

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