If you haven’t seen it already, I heartily recommend the film Amy. The documentary shows a side of the late Amy Winehouse that may have been overshadowed by the sordid circumstances of her final days. Namely, her incredible talent, her wit, and the vulnerability that made her music so touching. One thing is clear – making it big was the worst thing that could have happened to her. She wanted nothing more than to be taken seriously as a jazz singer. Pop stardom derailed her so thoroughly she never recovered any semblance of stability. She also had the misfortune to fall in love with a violent, manipulative, borderline-sociopath drug addict who dragged her to hell – in front of the whole world’s prying eyes. Perhaps she could have dealt with either one of those things on their own – the pressure of fame, the pressure of a destructive relationship – but not both at the same time. The Amy Winehouse we didn’t know – so lovely, full of life and bursting with talent – that we are introduced to in the first half of the film just makes the inevitable downward spiral all the more heartrending. I’ve written a lot in the past about the destructive effects of today’s fame industry, which feeds on exploitation and tragedy, and takes sadistic pleasure in the downfall of young women. Amy Winehouse was victimized more than most.