English actor / singer / writer / entertainer (apprently very multi-talented) Russel Brand was a close friend of Amy Winehouse. I came across this article he wrote and had to share. He writes about his evolving friendship to Winehouse, who I also think had a voice that came out of an era belonging to the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James or Dinah Washington - or as Brand puts it "a voice that seemed not to come from her but from somewhere beyond even Billie and Ella, from the font of all greatness. A voice that was filled with such power and pain that it was at once entirely human yet laced with the divine."
Brand, once having suffered from addiction himself and finding recovery, is deeply saddened by the tragedy of Winehouse's death. I think we all lose something when addiction steals someone from us. He says, "Addiction is a serious disease; it will end with jail, mental institutions or death." Addiction is not to be taken lightly or ignored and Brand urges us as a society, to "treat addicts, not as criminals but as sick people in need of care" Furthermore, romanticising addiction needs to stop.
Read the full article here. It's a really good read.