And the Grammy goes to, wait a minute, did we hear right? Amy Winehouse. No, it must be a joke because rewarding a public drug addict for her music is like saying we are okay with the fact that she is addicted to crack and has issues with rehab.

Unbelievably the Grammys came off during the writer’s strike but perhaps more shocking was the fact that Amy Winehouse, the obviously troubled, cocaine-addicted British singer won five Grammys. What was the academy possibly thinking? No matter how good her music is she is a poster child for irresponsible behaviour and certainly not the kind of person you would want to make a role model.

On music’s biggest night when the world is watching and children are too, the academy decided to make it Winehouse’s party. Rephrased that would be, a junkie’s party. The woman had to be released from rehab to perform and though she might have pulled off one of the better acts that night, she looked like someone in need of long-term care; someone who is defiant against the wrong things and who could be so much better if she only cleaned up her act.

The woman was caught on tape doing crack just recently and long before then her troubles were well publicized. She is like a crazed animal at times and often very loose in terms of her behaviour. Winehouse is a walking disaster yet she was idolized on music’s biggest stage. What message are they really sending to persons out there struggling with rehab and those children who look up to people like Winehouse as role models?

A fair assessment of the woman and her career does reveal a talented singer who is really good. Her album ‘Back to Black’ is perhaps the best that came out in 2006 but all that has been overshadowed by her behaviour. Her music which has had commercial success and has generated tremendous buzz within the last two years is great; no doubt about it. “Rehab” is painful but good and “You Know I Am No Good” is an excellent song, forget the title. But the young woman is a walking disaster. If it is not her problems with drugs, it is her marital woes.

When the US denied her a visa to perform at the Grammys it was an authoritative stand that ought to be lauded. Why should they allow her into the country after public confirmation that she is a junkie? The Grammys ought to have taken a similar stand and should have announced on nomination day that they were considering Winehouse given how good she it but that she failed to garner a nomination because of her drug problems. What a day that would have been!

It is true that the US later granted her the visa but that was after people, who had no business doing so, appealed on her behalf because she was slated to perform at the awards show. It was too late, however, she never made it and had to perform via satellite.

Isn’t that a double standard? US immigration authorities would never knowingly let a drug user/addict into their country but Winehouse and other big names get passes ordinary people do not. They slip by because they are celebrities and because of this, it is difficult to see any real change in them.

Winehouse can certainly go to rehab and clean up but there is no real need to. She is winning Grammys and being hailed by millions so she can continue to behave irresponsibly.

It makes you wonder when things are going to change and stars are going to stop getting the star treatment because they are famous. Winehouse needs a wake-up call and she needs it now. What a waste of talent. (thescene@stabroeknews.com)

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