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27

Posted Saturday, July 23, 2011, at 1:57 PM

The CNN coverage of the death of troubled singer Amy Winehouse noted a sad connection among some of rock's most tragic icons.

Winehouse was 27 when she died ... the same age as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain and original Rolling Stone Brian Jones. There's even a book on the subject: "The 27s: The Greatest Myth of Rock and Roll." (Amazon shows it as out of print, but I wouldn't be surprised if Winehouse's death led to an updated version.)

I guess it's not really as strange a coincidence as it sounds -- it's not uncommon for rock stars to hit it big in their early to mid 20s. So it's not surprising that those who are subject to the tragic combination of sudden fame, sudden wealth, substance abuse and pressure to top themselves would fall victim just a few years later.


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The emotional highs and lows of being a performing artist must be tremendous. You would think that having that success once in life might be enough to last, but some are more fragile.

We will probably never know what brought about this tragedy, but it sure sounds a warning bell to those striving to "make it big". Be sure to have other things of meaning in your life.

-- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Jul 23, 2011, at 8:46 PM

After you blogged this, I saw friends on facebook begin to post simply, "27" -- thanks to your hip/cool factor, I actually knew what they were talking about

-- Posted by tsimmons on Sun, Jul 24, 2011, at 1:11 AM

I don't think fame had much to do with her demise, except for providing enough funds.

She had bulimia, she was a cutter, she was bi-polar and depressed. She had early onset of emphysema. I would say that her problems began long before her public addiction. She was miserable in her own skin and just could not escape that.

Apparently lots of fans loved her, but she never learned to love herself.

I hope she has found peace.

-- Posted by quietmike on Sun, Jul 24, 2011, at 5:27 AM

Quietmike is right, Ms. Winehouse exhibited classic traits of mental illness. Her fame only enabled her.

-- Posted by gottago on Sun, Jul 24, 2011, at 1:38 PM

No one has to die due to addiction. However, it's a sad and all too often fact that many do. Untreated addiction has a track record of being 100% fatal.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Sun, Jul 24, 2011, at 11:36 PM

The problem is that she had been given help multiple times. Only to turn back to the drugs and alcohol. There had to be something in her head that she was trying to suppress or like gottago stated she had a mental illness.

-- Posted by PrpleHze on Tue, Jul 26, 2011, at 7:00 AM

While we all ASSUME that her death is drug related, due to her past history and friends accounts of the last couple of weeks. I want to remind you that you are being too quick to judge, because the corner's report is not yet in. WE need to reserve judgement until we have all of the facts, even though your ASSUMPTION may be correct.

-- Posted by justwanaknow on Tue, Jul 26, 2011, at 12:35 PM


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John I. Carney
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John I. Carney is city editor of the Times-Gazette.
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