Russell Brand writes poignant tribute to Amy Winehouse following her death
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On July 26, 2011, friends, fans and family said goodbye to Amy Winehouse as her funeral was held in London, England. The five time Grammy winning singer died suddenly on July 23, 2011. The news of her death shocked fans and media but it also left an indelible mark on her family and friends. One who knew Amy personally and chose to share the impact her death has left is Russell Brand. Husband of Katy Perry, Brand is known for his quick British wit and eccentric humor. In his tribute to Amy Winehouse, however, the world sees a more serious, poignant side of Brand as well as an important message that needs to be heard by addicts and their loved ones. Addiction kills. Brand knows, he has battled his own demons and understands the importance of recovery and committing to sobriety in order to stay alive.
Photos: Amy Winehouse Funeral
Brand begins his tribute by introducing the reader to how he met Winehouse and the impression she had upon him. He called her “sweet and peculiar, but most of all…vulnerable.” He also spoke about the disease of addiction the two shared . He writes, “All addicts, regardless of the substance or their social status share a consistent and obvious symptom; they’re not quite present when you talk to them. They communicate to you through a barely discernible but un-ignorable veil, whether a homeless smack head troubling you for 50p for a cup of tea or a coked-up, pinstriped exec foaming off about his “speedboat” there is a toxic aura that prevents connection.
“They have about them the air of elsewhere, that they’re looking through you to somewhere else they’d rather be. And of course they are. The priority of any addict is to anaesthetise the pain of living to ease the passage of the day with some purchased relief.”
Brand shared his account of the first time he saw Winehouse perform and the weight her soulful, talent had upon him. In a strange twist of fate, Russell Brand was 27-years-old when he found himself in recovery; which may cause one to contemplate whether he too could have been a member of the fateful “27 Club” that Winehouse has joined.
He then spoke about the impact that addiction has upon society as a whole. Brand ended his tribute in the same way he began- the significance of a phone call regarding someone who is addicted. He expressed that when you love someone who is addicted, there will be a phone call. Hopefully, the call will be from an addict saying they are ready to embrace sobriety and are calling for help, support and encouragement. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the call that Brand received. Instead it was the dreaded news that Winehouse had met her final demise.
Russell Brand expressed, “Not all of us know someone with the incredible talent that Amy had but we all know drunks and junkies and they all need help and the help is out there. All they have to do is pick up the phone and make the call. Or not. Either way, there will be a phone call.”
Click here to read Russell Brand’s Tribute: For Amy