The death of singer Amy Winehouse in 2011, at the tragically young age of twenty-seven, was big news. I remember hearing about it and being shocked, and having a friend tell me about the “27 Club” to which Winehouse had the dubious honor of gaining entry. The name refers to the fact that many hugely talented musicians—including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain—also died at twenty-seven, an age at which many people are just getting their careers off the ground.
Four years later, Winehouse is having a cultural moment. A documentary about her life, simply called Amy, is on wide release and has been getting a lot of press. Meanwhile, an exhibition at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, Amy Winehouse: A Family Portraitopens an intimate album on Winehouse, allowing us to view…
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