Club 27 welcomes it newest member

PUBLISHED : Monday, 25 July, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 25 July, 2011, 12:00am


Amy Winehouse's untimely end will no doubt provoke widespread theories that the age of 27 is cursed if you're a hard-living music artist.

She joins the club's other legendary members: Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix - rockers who died at the age of 27, either through tragedy, misadventure or excess. And Brian Jones, a founding member of the Rolling Stones, was discovered in 1969 at the bottom of his swimming pool. He was also 27.

Cobain predicted he would die young. Theories still circulate that he shot himself just so he could be a member of the ill-fated club. On hearing of her son's death, Wendy Fradenburg Cobain O'Connor said she told him not to 'join that stupid club'.

Winehouse shot to fame in 2003 as a fresh-faced singer with a style and voice very different from everything else at the time. She left it battered by years of drug and alcohol abuse, found dead in her London flat in circumstances described as unexplained.

Her personal life was subjected to intense interest from the paparazzi and tabloids. But that was largely a product of her behaviour. Photos often showed the worst side of her, looking gaunt, vacant and dishevelled. Attempts by the five-time Grammy-winner to revive her stalled career ran into hurdles recently when she was forced to cancel her European tour after erratic behaviour at a concert in Belgrade.

Her hit song Rehab echoed her life and turmoil through its lyrics: 'I said 'No, no, no'.' It is probably some irony that when paramedics found her on Saturday, she was 'beyond help'.

Her death at the age of 27 is a statistical curiosity. But whether Winehouse 'changed music' like Morrison, Joplin, Hendrix and Cobain did is a debate for the music critics.