It's hard for me to know how to feel about this.
On the one hand, I didn't care for Amy Winehouse's music particularly(she didn't drive me up the wall or anything, though) and I have no real connection with her work but it's always sad, for me at least, to see an artist die. Fewer voices in the world is never a good thing and it's always difficult to see someone spiral out of control with such finality, even if the writing had been on the wall for some time.
But my God are lazy rock journalists going to have a fucking field day with this. You know what's going to happen now, right? Back to Black is going to be lionized as a record for the ages, and dollars to donuts somebody at Rolling Stone is going to call her "this generation's Janis Joplin" or some other nonsense like that within the next year, and once that goes to print you're going to hear it parroted from coast to coast. A woman who had spent most of her career as a walking tabloid punchline is going to be a rock icon because she died at the same age Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain did.
I know this is going to happen, because I know that codger-rock journalists thrive on nothing if not comparisons, and even the flimsiest ties to their boyhood idols(let's face it, most of these people are dudes) helps them settle into their own tastes more comfortably, serves as a way of reviving the mysticism they perceived their generation's music had, and what they believe is absent from ours. It's not that I have a problem with this because I have some notion that she doesn't "deserve" to be placed at the same table as other music icons who died at the same age; rather, I'm disgusted at the hypocrisy of music journalism as a whole, and that such a table has so much power to give credence to one's career. In a lot of ways I think that's more disrespectful to her memory than any smarmy joke about her crack habit; it's like saying she wasn't worth being valued before she died at the same age "proper" rock icons did, therefore making her a "proper" rock icon herself. Nobody gave a Texas shit about her drug addiction before she kicked the bucket, except maybe to laugh at it, and now that she's dead we've all gotta trade in our chuckles for thoughtful grimaces, now that we've got some of that old-school rock 'n roll mystique to wallow in. If rock mythology has taught us anything it's that there's no type of self-destructive behavior we can't glamorize, once we don't have to feel responsible for it anymore.
I think if you cared about her and want to honor her memory, or even if you don't but just have the slightest sense of decency, cut the 27 Club bullshit and let the woman's work live and die by its own merits. Quit trying to turn a tragedy into a championship. If it takes someone's death to bring that classic rock radio magic back into your life then there is something seriously fucking wrong with the way you listen to music. There's a disconnect between who Amy Winehouse was when she was alive and who she is, and is going to be, now that she's dead, that I find extraordinarily unsettling. Why are our idols only worth showing some humanity towards once we see them as corpses?