Don’t be too quick to criticise Winehouse’s last gift

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“They tried to make me go to rehab I said no, no, no…” When it comes to the topic of Amy Winehouse’s death, the ‘Rehab’ single keeps playing in my head. She was an undeniable talent in the music industry and recently her posthumous album ‘Lioness: Hidden Treasures’, consisting of unreleased tracks, was confirmed for release at Christmas. While there are overwhelming critics over her family’s ‘cashing in’ act on Amy’s death, I believe that is a perfectly justified gift to the fans and a poignant tribute to the celebrity.

The album is the continuation of the artist’s musical legacy. The entire music industry were crushed when news broke of her death aged just 27 years old. While she gave us such fan favourites as ‘Valerie’ and ‘Rehab’ during her short life, there is a veritable treasure trove of unreleased material just gathering dust in a studio somewhere. The Christmas chart would therefore give brilliant access to expand our collective memory of the diva. It is, after all, only the completion of her unfinished work.

Furthermore, the album would not solely be a money-grabbing scheme but also an act of charity. £1 from each sale would go to the Amy Winehouse Foundation, the project, in tribute to Amy, helping disabled and addicted adolescents, or anyone in need. Father Mitch had earlier admitted his financial intention, but for the foundation eventually.

While some condemn the underwhelming donation figure the good act should be acknowledged. Mitch’s act, from public view, is in memory of her and the vulnerable youth of the country. The Winehouse family’s somewhat less than grand gesture is still a far cry from many other music moguls looking to cash in on tragedy. Consider the ‘tribute’ of Microsoft, plugging Winehouse’s biggest hits hours after death on its Zunestore.

It would not be too much to even say that they deserve the sum. The family suffered more than anyone after the shocking tragedy. Like Anthony Bradt said, “other things may change us, but we start and end with family.” No matter what their goal is, the fund is merited.

Whenever a celebrity passes too soon there is the inevitable public outcry claiming that people are cashing in, but this should not overshadow the good intentions that I believe the Winehouse family have. Of course there is a financial element to bringing the album out at Christmas time, but can you really begrudge the family and the Foundation this small recompense for losing, as we all did a little, a precious child gone too soon.

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