Amy Winehouse
Amy Winehouse has died at the young age of 27. But years of struggle with addiction and depression made her a weary, aged soul. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

The record will officially show that singer and songwriter Amy Winehouse died young, at the age of 27. But the reality is that she experienced and suffered years worth of pain and agony in her short lifetime, many times what others her age experience

She was a young woman with an old, battle-worn soul.

Proof that fame does not bring happiness, Winehouse was a complicated mix of distinction from the moment she hit the public limelight.

On one hand, she was one of the world's most talented and compelling singer and songwriters. She swept away five Grammy Awards, sold more than five million albums, and led some fellow artists, like George Michael, to call her the best female vocalist in the world.

And she was, in the rare few times the world got to see her sober enough to give it her best.

On the other hand, Winehouse was heart-breakingly ravaged by alcohol and drug addiction, depression and eating disorders.

She had trouble with the law. She had trouble with relationships. She had trouble in her marriage. She sometimes looked so frail and shaky in public appearances she appeared more like a woman in her 80s than a young woman, in what should have been the prime of her life.

Pain, angst and addiction is not relieved by immense fame and talent. If anything, Winehouse's immense talent and fame became one of her greatest problems in a battle against many addictions.

Winehouse once said she only wanted to write songs, and peform in small clubs. She never did seek fame. But fame is what she found, and the bigger her career became, the bigger her problems became.

That Winehouse has been found dead at the age of 27 at her home in northern London is no great surprise, though it is a painful sudden loss -- the departure of an incredible talent and an unhealed broken heart.

In 2007 Winehouse had attempted suicide. During a summer in which she had battled addiction to alcohol, crack, and heroin, Winehouse was seen in public that year with bandages covering her arms. She had blood-soaked shoes, and a gashed knee.

Guests at the Sanderson hotel in London had reported hearing the sound of furniture clanging and screaming from her hotel room. Winehouse sent text messages to celebrity blogger Perez Hilton explaining that she had been trying to cut herself.

I lost it, she reportedly said, claiming her husband, Blake, saved her life.

There would be other close calls for Winehouse. Overdose. Suicide attempts. Suicide threats. In rehab. Out of rehab. She was, by her own admission, a manic depressive. She was also, by her own admission, addicted to self-inflicted pain.

And maybe that is what finally took her down, in the end.

The obituary will read that Amy Winehouse died at the age of 27. But stories providing depth about her many ongoing struggles will reveal that Winehouse lived many more years of pain than what officially goes on the record.

She was a young lady according to the calendar, but she had an old and weary soul.

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