While it’s sad in an abstract sort of way that another person has died young (and it’s always an uneasy experience when the deceased is younger than me), my sympathy in this case is limited. Partly this is because, frankly, she brought it upon herself. There is also a bigger issue though.

Amy Winehouse was best known for her song Rehab, in which she famously gloated that when ‘they’ tried to send her to rehab, she defiantly said ‘no, no, no’. Aside from the fact that if she’d said yes, she might have lived to see 30, there are repercussions to indulging in these sort of antics in the spotlight. Like it or not, fame is accompanied by responsibility. It’s part of the price. I’m no great fan of ‘the media brainwashes our children’ scaremongering, but it would be foolish to deny that people who enjoy fame and commercial success are in a position to influence those who haven’t yet fully formed their own identities. There was clearly a risk of some of her younger fans – particularly those who were in their early teens at the height of the song’s popularity – seeing her defiance of rehabilitation and associating it with her manifest fame and success. The extent of the risk is open for endless debate, but I think it’s clear that it was there.

Maybe Amy Winehouse can finally set the example in death that she should have been responsible enough to set in life. If someone sends you to rehab you should go, go, go – because it just might keep you alive.