Amy Winehouse's pop culture legacy: The power of drugs to kill in broad daylight
Some will blame us all for the too-soon death of R&B-pop-soul talent Amy Winehouse.
Some will say it was the pressures of fame and success. Some will say it's her misfortune of being a troubled music star at the age of 27 -- when rock stars ranging from Jim Morrison to Jimi Hendrix to Kurt Cobain left fans with too many questions and a boatload of unfulfilled potential.
But anyone who has known someone struggling with addiction knows that all of those things and more may have contributed to the sad downward spiral that was Winehouse's life and career, but it wasn't the cause. And it wasn't what kept her from redemption.
That's the most maddening part of addiction, whether the person in the throes of the disease is a middle class banker, a poverty-level criminal or a rock star with millions of fans worldwide.
So often, it seems to matter little how much the person is loved or who tries to help them. The decline and death of an addict can feel like watching a slow-motion car accident, salvageable only by the person behind the wheel.
If they can't hit the brake or turn away before the impact, there may be no one else who can intervene.
Count me among those who always hoped Winehouse would master her demons and give the world more of her breathtaking talent.
But in the end, most of us could only do that -- hope. And now that our hopes have not been realized, we can remember Winehouse as an amazing performer and artist whose gifts, unfortunately, did not extend her life further.
And, since UK police are not yet revealing the circumstances of her death, we can also hope that perhaps her passing wasn't tied up in her lifelong struggle.
Look below for a couple of game efforts at remembering the best of an artist who lit up the music world for a time. RIP, Amy Jade Winehouse.