Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Any Wineshouse

Everyone's talking about Any Winehouse's almost clean sweep at the Grammys. I did not watch it and did not really have the time or inclination to do so. 

But I did watch the clip of her performance in London that was broadcast at the Grammys. I liked it. It was classic Wino and I've always enjoyed her singing, songs and voice.

It was probably a good thing she did not attend the awards show as the tart sting of sour grapes would probably have sent her packing to the nearest crack house.

Surprisingly, many older and more established (sometimes also known as has-beens) singers started lambasting Wino's eligibility for the awards given to her at the Grammys.

Foresooth, they decried, she is not worthy! Natalie Cole loudly pronounced, 

”I don’t think she should have won. I think it sends a bad message to our young people who are trying to get into this business, the ones who are trying to do it right and really trying to keep themselves together. We have to stop rewarding bad behavior.”

I’m sorry. I think the girl is talented, gifted, but it’s not right for her to be able to have her cake and eat it too. She needs to get herself together.”

I mean, she could die. This isn’t something that’s cute and fun just to throw around in the press. The girl really has a problem, and I think for those of us who have been in the business long enough, we know the sacrifice it takes. This is about discipline and hard work, and you don’t get to just do your drugs and go onstage and get rewarded.”

That Natalie Cole could deride her amused me greatly as the woman used to be an inveterate substance abuser herself. And if I remember correctly the last Grammy she won was in the 90s.

Even seemingly objective reporters spat venom at the substance suffocated singer with comments like, 

"I don’t believe that we, as a viewing and purchasing audience, should reward those in positions of fame when they wilfully and knowingly act in ways that are illegal, immoral, and detrimental to themselves and their fans. Too many so-called “stars” are rewarded for acting like jerks when they should be punished for such behavior, whether that be by the law or by our closed wallets."

I think they're all missing the point. Wino won her awards for being an artist, not a human being, flawed or otherwise. She was judged on the merit of her work, not her screw ups.

The Grammy is given out on this criteria - 

"Recording Academy members and record companies enter recordings and music videos released during the eligibility year which they consider worthy of recognition in the GRAMMY Awards process."

Whether you approve of Wino's messed up lifestyle or not, it does not change the fact the woman has talent and manifested these in a brilliant album and record. To take that away from her under the guise of concern and poorly-disguised envy and jealousy is more cracked up than her habit.

Does her self-destructive path diminish her talent and the merit of her work? Do we have a right to deny an artist her due as a creative genius just because we do not approve of her lifestyle?

I say No, No, No ...