Was Amy Winehouse hacked to death?

Was Amy Winehouse hacked to death?


norman lebrecht

July 24, 2011

The most depressing images that come to mind from the short, tragic life of Amy Winehouse are of her being hounded at every turn by hack photographers, who knew they could always place an angry Amy image with tabloid newspapers. This one’s from the Daily Mirror, and it is by no means the worst.

(c) mirror.co.uk, all rights reserved

And it was not just tabloids. This is the Daily Telegraph (c) all rights reserved:

The photographers knew that Amy had serious addiction problems. So did the journalists and editors who commissioned and bought their stake-out pictures. Their hounding of a fragile personality cannot have helped her known condition.

As official inquiries gather momentum, I would like Lord Justice Leveson to raise two pertinent questions:

1 Was Amy Winehouse the subject of phone hacking by any newspaper?

2 Was the press justified in door-stepping an artist whose mental state was known to be fragile?

It’s too late to save Amy, but others equally vulnerable have a right to be protected.


  • Latest headline: Winehouse death unexplained

    My question would be whether there are any similarities between the deaths of Winehouse and Sean Hoare. Might she have had some damning evidence on anyone involved in the phone hacking scandle?

  • Roelof Alexander Bijkerk says:

    All I can say is something I already shared on facebook: You know, and music judges no one. That would be like saying a molecule of air (the air the music vibrates in), that it is supposed to judge people. “Sorry, you’re not good enough, you mayn’t breath me.” How is someone supposed to find themselves, when this is their medium, and they are expected to judge the very mind which ALL BY ITSELF, finds a home there in the music, and yet isn’t accepted by society’s morals!?

  • Amy said that she wasn’t an alcoholic, that she was a manic depressive. That simply means that she had an emotional response which drove her to look for an escape. She didn’t even know what this was, otherwise she certainly would have been able to explore what was going on with her. The music she wrote, which she always has said is autobiographical, was a beginning into finding out what it was that triggered her. But, there’s a real problem here that got in her way. That’s this whole label “manic depressive” which gets involved. Amy said that she didn’t take her medications, which is helpful, actually. If she had taken these pills she wouldn’t have been able to write the songs she did. The pills she was prescribed were probably anti-psychotics, which in reality suppress all parts of the personality. Incidentally, there’s still no true proof that any psychiatric medications attend to any chemical imbalance. However, with all of them, there is proof that they cause chemical imbalances. In fact, they cause the same sort of chemical imbalances street drugs cause (and withdrawal symptoms). This is because they mess around with neurotransmitters. You can go back in history and see the same advertisements for cocaine as you see now for anti-depressants (and many of the other drugs which are now street drugs were psychiatric drugs back then). So, how is this supposed to help her to have this label manic-depressive? She DID write music that was autobiographical, and she WAS starting to work out some of the issues which triggered her. She KNEW there was something emotional going on with her. And she wouldn’t have found this out if she was on something that suppressed all parts of her personality, and which took away her self initiative, and which robbed her of her creativity. If you listen to earlier work of hers as a Jazz singer, you hear an amazing voice, with range and the ability to ornament. A truly great voice! The kind of declamatory singing she did in her big hit albums is only a fraction of what she had in her! What would we have found out if she was actually given the chance to work out her emotional triggers, to actually deal with the emotions, and to be ALLOWED to do this for what they were, and not for how they could be labeled. What would we have found out if there wasn’t this confusing abusive interference, this interruption that said that she would be “healthy” when on something that wouldn’t have allowed her to feel!? I miss her! For me, it’s another Cherubino gone too soon! And that’s just if she was gone rather than to have left someplace she couldn’t be!