The death of Amy Winehouse at the age of 27 was a tragedy. She was one of the brightest music stars in years -a brilliant, original song writer with a mighty voice and great personal charm.
Amy was loveable, but troubled. She was as notorious for her messy personal life, drug addiction and alcoholism, as she was celebrated for her songs, and her death in 2011, while shocking, was not unexpected.
Amy was also the latest in a series of iconic music stars who died at the same young age; starting with Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones whose death in 1969 was followed by Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin in 1970, Jim Morrison in 1971, and Kurt Cobain in 1994. All were gifted. All were dissipated. All were 27.
The 27 Club was first used as a collective term for these lost souls after a comment by Kurt Cobain’s mother. ‘He’s gone and joined that stupid club,’ she said after Kurt shot himself. ‘I told him not to …’
In this ground-breaking book, Howard Sounes delivers a detailed and insightful study of Amy Winehouse’s life, and sets that life in the context of the 27 Club.
That six big music stars died at 27 — along with 44 less well-known names — is on one level a coincidence. But behind this coincidence Sounes reveals is a disturbing common narrative that explains how these artists met their fate, and casts new light on Amy’s death in particular.