Amy Winehouse was born in London, England and died of alcohol poisoning at the age of 27, also in London.
Winehouse was Jewish and her ancestors immigrated to England from Russia in the late 19th century.
Winehouse, though decidedly disturbed, seemed to want a more domestic life, but she expressly addresses the issue of religion during her wistful rambling, indicating that she was likely not very devout in the faith of her family. She said:
In 10 years’ time I’m gonna be looking after my husband and our seven kids. I’d really like to get everyone in one place and sit down and eat a meal together. I would like to uphold certain things, but not the religious side of things, just the nice family things to do. At the end of the day, I’m a Jewish girl.
Furthermore, Winehouse’s funeral did stir up some controversy with the orthodox Jewish community. Winehouse was cremated–which is against Jewish law–and apparently proper mourning procedures were not observed. Beyond that, strict Jews frown upon tattoos–of which Winehouse had many.
The politics of addiction
Winehouse didn’t have many outspoken political positions. But her lifestyle and death has resulted in some interesting political occurrences. Winehouse was a wreck personally. She was a drug addict and alcoholic and the topic of her first break-out single was a woman resistant to going to rehab. She should have taken that advice.
Her early and tragic death forced much introspection in her home country of England, and even abroad in Europe and the U.S. The Swiss People’s Party in Switzerland used an atrocious photo of Winehouse, allegedly quite intoxicated, to make the case against the decriminalization of illicit drugs in the country. And Winehouse’s father, Mitch Winehouse, met with British politicians after her death to urge them to do more to help young addicts who couldn’t help themselves, saying:
This isn’t about Amy because we were in a fortunate position of being able to fund Amy to go into private rehab – this is about people that can’t afford it.
Hopefully, they take heed.
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