When Amy Winehouse fainted in her London home last week and was rushed to a hospital, it seemed like just another drug-related disaster for the troubled troubadour. Winehouse's bouts with booze and drugs have been well documented (sometimes even by the singer herself). Still, many jaded journalists and celebrity watchers were surprised by the news on Sunday that she suffers from emphysema.
The revelation was made public when her dad, Mitch Winehouse, told the U.K.'s Sunday Mirror that her "lungs are all gunked up," and that she has only 70 percent lung capacity. Emphysema at the age of 24? That's absurd. Or is it, considering the "Rehab" singer smokes crack and cigarettes the way most of us drink water.
What is beyond absurd, however, is that Winehouse was chosen to perform this Friday at the AIDS awareness 46664 Concert in London's Hyde Park in celebration of Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday.
Winehouse, a renowned junkie, should not be allowed to perform at an AIDS awareness concert for a Noble Prize winner, who has lived to a ripe old age after fighting injustice. Seriously, was there absolutely no one else the 46664 Concert organizers could have picked to perform in her place?
The soulful singer's dad was further quoted in the Sunday Mirror as saying that "when sheís been inactive work-wise then that's when the problems really start." He added, "If she hadn't done recent shows in Moscow and Portugal she could have been dead by now. She abstains and regulates her drug use when she has to do a show."
I understand the conundrum here: Bar her from working and she'll have plenty of free time to binge on drugs. Keep her busy, and she'll remain relatively clean.
The problem, though, is that she's being financially and otherwise rewarded for her bad behavior. The more she is onstage, the more money she makes. And the more money she makes, the more access she has to drugs.
Simply, we, as her audience, are filling her crack coffers.
That's why, even though last week I bought a new iPod, and as much as I would like to download her catchy tunes, I won't. I cannot in good conscience circuitously support her horrible drug habit. And neither should you.
Concert promoters need to stop booking her. The public needs to stop buying her music. And radio stations need to stop playing her singles.
Granted, this will do little to stem her illicit lifestyle, since she's already reportedly banked $20 million. But it's a start.
Quite possibly, when Winehouse realizes that the public has finally objected to her destructive drug abuse, she'll clean up her act.
And if her livelihood isn't enough of a motivation, maybe her life will be. Mitch Winehouse said that had his daughter continued smoking crack for another month, she very likely would have needed the assistance of an oxygen mask to breathe. He further related, "The doctors have told her if she goes back to smoking drugs, it won't just ruin her voice, it will kill her."
Regardless of whether it's because of a threat to her health or wealth, only when Winehouse says no, no, no to drugs, should we once again say yes, yes, yes to her music.
For more on Winehouse, check out http://www.accesshollywood.com/gallery/969/amy-winehouse-