Amy Winehouse’s 2011 death shocked the music world. The singer was one of the most heralded new artists to grace the scene with six Grammys to their name. When it comes to her death, her brother, Alex, believes she left this world because of bulimia.
Trying To Fit In
In an interview with Observer Magazine, her brother discussed the impact of his sister’s death. While everyone placed the blame on alcohol, her brother points the finger at bulimia. As a teen, Winehouse found herself going down this dark path because of the wrong crowd. Most kids at the time wanted to fit in at school, and so did Winehouse. During those years, she found herself bouncing around to different schools across England which can make it harder for a kid to make (and keep) friends. To counter this effect, she switched friends frequently.
At one point Winehouse found herself hanging with a group of girls engaging in dangerous activities. “They’d put loads of rich sauces on their food, scarf it down and throw it up. They stopped doing it, but Amy never really did,” her brother said in the interview. “We all knew she was doing it, but it’s almost impossible [to tackle] especially if you’re not talking about it. It’s a real dark, dark issue.”
A Surprise To Many
Winehouse’s battle with bulimia was featured in the 2015 documentary Amy. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as massive as her known drug and alcohol addiction. In the documentary, her mother Janis talks about a conversation that would make any mother nervous but didn’t seem to register as a problem — at least not on camera. In this talk, Winehouse discussed a brand new diet involving regurgitating food that was just eaten. At the time, her mother believed it was a typical teenage phase for her daughter.
The lack of focus on Winehouse’s eating disorder lasted for years. In fact, even when the documentary dropped, many viewers were unaware of the problem. Because it wasn’t as massive as her drug and alcohol addiction, the eating disorder mention was brief.
A Noticeable Change
When Winehouse released her 2003 debut album, Frank, she looked normal to friends. During promotion for the album, however, many people noticed several changes. Media attention would get overwhelming. Given her tumultuous relationship with food, it wasn’t long before the singer lost control and her eating disorder returned. In addition, constant alcohol use played a major part in her changing appearance.
The singer’s longtime friend Naomi Parry had a hard time convincing her to change for the better. “Seeing someone in the grip of an eating disorder can make you feel powerless, Parry told Cosmopolitan. “I moved in with Amy for five months, hoping to be a good influence. But how do you approach someone who doesn’t want to talk about it? How do you deal with it?” For Parry, it was all about allowing Amy to see first-hand to positivity of eating healthy. Unfortunately, the singer continued doing things her own way.
The Legacy Lives On
Following her death, the Winehouse family opened the Amy Winehouse Foundation which helps educate young people about drug and alcohol addiction. In 2013, they began a partnership with U.K. eating disorder charity Beat. To aid Beat’s new website, the Amy Winehouse Foundation offered a $55,000 donation. Each year, the Amy Winehouse Foundation celebrates the late singer with special events surrounding their birthday.
Recently, the artist was inducted into the Music Walk of Fame in Camden, London, which is where she died. Her sophomore studio album Back to Black also gained a massive 13th-anniversary party thanks to the Grammy Museum. While she’s no longer with us, Winehouse is still loved by millions of fans worldwide.
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