On the fourth year anniversary of Amy Winehouse’s death, her friend Russell Brand reflects back
On July 23, 2011, at just 27-years-old, Amy Winehouse was found unconscious at her home in London’s Camden. A post mortem later revealed it was death by misadventure and there were lethal amounts of alcohol in her blood.
Despite her very public battle with drug addiction, four years on, many of us are still shocked to believe that she is gone.
On the anniversary of her death, Russell Brand – who was a good friend of Amy’s – has spoken out about the danger of addiction and what he wishes he could’ve done to prevent her death.
After watching the new film on her life, Amy, the 40-year-old talks on his YouTube channel The Trews, about the sadness he felt after seeing the talented girl that he once knew die so young.
‘The film brought up a lot of emotions for me and probably anyone with addiction issues,’ he says to the camera.
‘It dragged up the feelings of sadness that Amy Winehouse died and there’s something about deaths from addiction that feels preventable.’
He goes on to share with us what he would’ve done if he knew what was going to happen.
‘I feel like, if somebody had made it crystal clear – even though it was kinda clear to me: “Amy’s going to die tomorrow” – I would’ve gone to her house that night obviously and kicked the door down and do what I needed to do.’
As a recovering drug addict himself though, Russell knows that’s easier said than done, and how hard it is to ‘get clean and co-operate.’
Even when Russell first met the talented singer, he knew there was something there.
‘When Amy was alive, I had the sense of “that girl Amy Winehouse who I know and care about [has] got really serious addiction issue. She’s definitely gonna die. I must do something about it” – but obviously was unable to.’
The documentary has provoked outrage from Amy’s father, Mitch Winehouse, who has said he has been shown in a bad light, but Russell wonders if the film – which he adds, we’ll never know if it’s actually the truth – is intrusive and goes on to talk about how addiction has been glamourised.
‘The story that the film tells is that Amy’s death is doubly tragic because there were certainly antagonistic figures in her life that could’ve done things differently,’ he says.
‘There’s something about destructive-ness. Heroes burning in public that appeals to us.’
Amy shot to international fame when she released her single Rehab from her 2006 album Back to Black, which followed her successful debut album Frank back in 2003.
She had a turbulent relationship with Blake Fielder-Civil who she was married to for two years before separating.
RIP Amy – we’ll be having her insanely talented voice on repeat today.