My thoughts on Amy Winehouse’s death

I mostly listen to Christian music, but this weekend I saw the eye-catching headlines that Amy Winehouse recently was found dead in her London home, for unexplained causes (an autopsy is being performed). I’m not a news hound and I’d never even heard of her. She was a British singer-songwriter, who, according to Wikipedia, was known for her powerful contralto vocals and her eclectic mix of musical genres including R&B, soul and jazz. Some find her very offensive because of her film history, her lifestyle, her addictions, and her music’s and videos’ sensual content, but her album Back to Black led to six Grammy Award nominations and five wins. She was said to be a big influence in the rise in popularity of female musicians and soul music, and for revitalising British music.

I looked at a few pictures of her on the internet. Amy was beautiful and had coal-black hair; she borrowed her Beehive hairstyle and Cleopatra makeup from The Ronettes, a 1960’s girl group from New York. (Wikipedia) When she died, she was only 27 years old – just three years younger than our daughter Heather. The prime of her life. It is incredibly sad.

While I don’t subscribe to celebrity magazines or even often read news about celebrities, ever since I was little I’ve always had an interest in their lives -I suppose because their lavish lifestyle is intriguing and so far removed from my own ordinary lifestyle. I‘ve especially always had a fascination with famous, successful people whose fate was met suddenly by a premature, tragic death. It’s made me wonder: WHY did they die, especially when they seemed on the pinnacle of their career, the moment of their greatness?

Apparently Amy led a very troubled life, struggling with drug addiction, drinking, self-mutilation, eating disorders, and violent mood swings. This kind of lifestyle isn’t atypical for gifted, very successful musicians and celebrities. Nor are their untimely deaths unusual. We’ve seen it time and again – Jimmy Hendrix, Elvis Presley, Judy Garland, Margaux Hemingway, Marilyn Monroe, River Phoenix, and most recently Michael Jackson.

We look at their lives from afar, often with blatant curiosity, awe, disgust, and even envy at times. We sometimes think that having millions of dollars like these celebrities have made will solve all of life’s problems and will make us happy. But that isn’t true.

There is nothing wrong with being prosperous or becoming famous. God wants to bless His people financially – to further His kingdom. It takes money to run ministries and to take the gospel to the nations. But without an intimate relationship with God there is no life and there is no fulfillment or true happiness. Without Him there’s a deep, dark hole and void inside of us. We are all searching for something from the time we are born. We try to fill it with many things. But that emptiness and longing is only filled through a relationship with our Creator, and we receive and develop that relationship through a faith in Jesus Christ.

Do you know the God who made you? We will all meet Him one day face to face. Are you ready? I wonder and grieve, did Amy know Him? 27 years old. So young! She’s now gone.

After I read the news of Amy, I googled about her and then went on YouTube to hear her music. Even if you and I don’t agree with her lifestyle or even her style of music, there is no doubt that she had an amazing gift and talent from God for writing and singing. Here is her award-winning song, Back To Black. It is eerily prophetic of her early death with its lyrics, “I died a 100 times.”

My prayers are with Amy’s family and friends.

What are your thoughts? Please leave your comments below.

DISCLAIMER: You may not want your children or teens to view this video. This video is NOT G-rated (family-friendly) and its lyrics may be offensive to some. The lyrics contain one very sexually-explicit line at the beginning of the song and other lyrics that reference drugs. Amy was not known for dressing modestly, either. But this is the real world we live in today, and that our children and our grandchildren live in. I share the video simply to let you hear the gift which God put inside this woman that, so sadly, could have been used in a great way for God’s glory…and her life was tragically cut short by the enemy.

Video – Amy Winehouse – Back To Black

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8 thoughts on “My thoughts on Amy Winehouse’s death

  1. Also, God doesn’t want you to be like a monk. Jesus said we’re to be IN the world, but not OF it! I don’t believe you HAVE to listen to only Christian music all the time (although that is what I usually listen to). Again, Jesus came to set you FREE – not be imprisoned by religion. One great question to ask yourself is, “Do I feel convicted buying this or doing this?” Asking to hear His voice. Also, “Does this violate God’s word in any clear way?” and “Would this please God?”

  2. Hi, sorry I didn’t reply right away. I was praying about how to respond to you and the last couple of days have been really busy. All of us must hear God’s still small voice for ourselves. The way we do that is to study the Bible, which are His thoughts, and to pray to hear His voice. You would have to go to Him to ask about buying Amy’s CD. I do know that God doesn’t want you feeling constantly guilty.  Jesus came to set the captives free and feeling guilty constantly is not freedom.

    It sounds like you are under condemnation for something in your past, that you don’t feel forgiven for, and that is causing you to feel guilty (for other things in the present -like CD’s or movies). I encourage you to go to the Cross to Jesus – to pray and ask Him to set you free from any condemnation or false guilt. I believe that is what will help you the most with making decisions regarding music or movies. God has called us to holiness.

    The apostle Paul said that “Everything is permissible, but not everything is helpful. Everything is permissible, but not everything builds up.” (1 Corinthians 10:23, ISV) That means that there is great freedom in Christ because of God’s grace and forgiveness, but that doesn’t mean that everything is good for our walk with God.  

    God can and does use things in this world to minister to our hearts sometimes – so He could use Amy’s music to minister to your heart or mine if He desires. I personally would not go out and buy all Amy’s CDs (I don’t own any of them), but I felt this one particular video and song was really powerful and it spoke to MY heart.

    This would require an entire teaching, but I just want to encourage you to go to God and ask Him to remove any fear of punishment for past sins or any condemnation or false guilt you may be under -because God loves you and is a merciful, forgiving God. I hope this has been helpful in some way. Please feel free to comment again or email me at elizabethdjones@gmail.com. I will look at hosting a Talkshoe show on this subject – would you be interested in attending if I did one on this particular topic?

  3. Hi, sorry I didn’t reply right away. I was praying about how to respond to you and the last couple of days have been really busy. All of us must hear God’s still small voice for ourselves. The way we do that is to study the Bible, which are His thoughts, and to pray to hear His voice. You would have to go to Him to ask about buying Amy’s CD. I do know that God doesn’t want you feeling constantly guilty. Jesus came to set the captives free and feeling guilty constantly is not freedom.

    It sounds like you are under condemnation for something in your past, that you don’t feel forgiven for, and that is causing you to feel guilty (for other things in the present -like CD’s or movies). I encourage you to go to the Cross to Jesus – to pray and ask Him to set you free from any condemnation or false guilt. I believe that is what will help you the most with making decisions regarding music or movies. God has called us to holiness.

    The apostle Paul said that “Everything is permissible, but not everything is helpful. Everything is permissible, but not everything builds up.” (1 Corinthians 10:23, ISV) That means that there is great freedom in Christ because of God’s grace and forgiveness, but that doesn’t mean that everything is good for our walk with God.

    God can and does use things in this world to minister to our hearts sometimes – so He could use Amy’s music to minister to your heart or mine if He desires. I personally would not go out and buy all Amy’s CDs (I don’t own any of them), but I felt this one particular video and song was really powerful and it spoke to MY heart.

    This would require an entire teaching, but I just want to encourage you to go to God and ask Him to remove any fear of punishment for past sins or any condemnation or false guilt you may be under -because God loves you and is a merciful, forgiving God. I hope this has been helpful in some way. Please feel free to comment again or email me at elizabethdjones@gmail.com. I will look at hosting a Talkshoe show on this subject – would you be interested in attending if I did one on this particular topic?

  4. Sbrnseay25 says:

    The music that I normally listen to are from singers like Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Judy Garland, Tony Bennett, Billie Holiday. . . .normally it’s jazz and big band music and some oldies music from the 50’s and 60’s. I don’t normally listen to lyrics that are explicit and Amy Winehouse’s music seems to be the only kind that is a little bit more explicit then what I would normally hear from the music and lyrics that I listen to (the lyrics in the music I listen to are clean). This is what’s bothering me at the moment about whether it’s right for me to listen to her music. I love her voice and sometimes her lyrics are poetic such as in “Love Is A Losing Game” that doesn’t contain any explicit lyrics at all but I’m caught in the middle of whether I should continue to listen to her or not, even though I know that God has called us to holiness. Sometimes I feel like I can’t watch secular movies (even if they are clean), or listen to secular music or read secular books because I feel like if I do then I’m sinning against God because it doesn’t contain His name or even mention him in anyway. I just feel so guilty and I hate feeling this way all the time. I feel like I have to be like a monk totally shutting myself off from the world, only listening to Christian music all the time (and don’t get me wrong, I love Christian hymns moreso than the contemporary Christian music out there). I even thought about getting one of her CD’s, possibly getting the clean version instead of the explicit. I just feel like I’m at the crossroads and I need some help with this issue.

  5. I believe that what we listen to and see (as in tv or movies) is something that is between us and God, but that God has called us to holiness as He is holy. We need to hear His still, small voice in every aspect of our lives. God wants us to be in the world but not OF it. I do think that God can and does use secular things (like music, for example) to speak to our hearts about things for HIS glory. I am not advocating Amy Winehouse’s music; I just thought her death was so tragic and that she had a POWERFUL voice that was given to her by God. All we have comes from Him. 🙂 He gives you and me gifts He wants to use for His glory right now. Thank you for commenting here!

  6. Sbrnseay25 says:

    I love Amy Winehouse’s voice and I think she indeed had a God-given gift. I’ve been listening to her music and the sound of it really caught my ear. I wonder as a Christian if I should be listening to her music?

  7. Tony, thanks so much for commenting. I completely agree with you. I wish so much that someone had shared the truth with me when I was in my early 20’s and was so lost. We all try to fill up that emptiness with so many things. I wasted so much time then, but am so thankful that God had mercy on me, delivered me despite myself, and gave me life through Him. 🙂 I felt that sadness, too, for Amy and for so many others. I wondered that, too, if anyone was praying for her or sharing the truth with her. You are spot on about prayer and speaking LIFE over them!

  8. Tonyr says:

    Beth thank you for the post.
    Like you I mostly listen to Christian music and am not a big follower of celebrities and stars. I did know of Amy Winehouse due the ridicule about her drug/alcohol problems when she released the song rehab. When I heard the news of her passing I was hit with an inexplicable sadness. It was boulder had hit me in my core. My thoughts were centered on the condition of her soul and her eternity. I wondered did she have anyone in her life who was willing to tell her the Truth. The Truth that God could forgive, heal, deliver, set free? Did she have anyone in her life who was praying for her?I begin to think of the other singers, actors, “celebrities” out there and wondered the same thing about them. I hear so many Christians speak harshly about these people, saying things like they are in cahoots with the devil, they’ve made pacts with the devil and as a former pastor used to say those folks are paving the way to hell and leading thousands with them. I couldn’t help but think what would happen if perhaps we started praying, really interceding for these people and speaking life over them maybe we could see a change, maybe we could see a revival break out in the “entertainment” world. 

    TonyR

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