A few weeks ago we were asked to replace Amy Winehouse at a festival in Europe. We agreed to fill in for her, and were curious as to why she cancelled the date. We confirmed the show and soon heard about her fateful concert in Belgrade and the subsequent cancellation of her entire tour. I remembered running into her father a couple of years ago in the lobby of Universal Music. I was reminded of the frustration, pain and dysfunction that is such a big part of the life of the addict, and unfortunately everyone else involved.
I didn’t know Amy personally, but her recent passing hits close to home as the disease of addiction is a very familiar part of my life. It’s a brutal and savage condition that wreaks havoc not only on the addict but those around them as well.
Having played over 250 shows since our last album came out, we understand all too well the challenges of life on the road. We have been touring for about two years now and it can be tough. I couldn’t imagine it in the midst of an active addiction. I certainly would not be able to do it.
It seems that many in the press had no problem acting as though her disease were as trivial as the latest “hot beach bods” spread. Maybe the next time someone exhibits the classic behavior of an addict in trouble, rather than using it as tabloid fodder, more energy could be spent attempting to help the person. Laughing at the behavior of a person in the throes of addiction, or dismissively treating it as entertainment, is no less unforgiveable than making fun of someone who has begun to deteriorate from the damages of any other chronic and debilitating disease.
I understand they have not confirmed the cause of death but it seems obvious that she suffered deeply for many years. I feel for her and those closest to her, for the pain of these years and for this tragic ending. It’s a heartbreaking loss, not just of an incredibly talented artist, but of a beautiful and blessed young woman in the beginning of her life.
Jared Leto is the lead singer of 30 Seconds to Mars and an actor.
• Amy Winehouse’s Death: A Troubled Star Gone Too Soon
• Musicians Respond to Amy Winehouse’s Death
• Critics Assess Amy Winehouse’s Legacy
• Photos: Amy Winehouse Remembered
• Photos: The Tumultuous Life Of Amy Winehouse
• Ronnie Spector Pays Tribute to Amy Winehouse
• The Diva and Her Demons: Rolling Stone’s 2007 Amy Winehouse Cover Story
• Up All Night With Amy Winehouse: Rolling Stone’s 2008 Story
• Video: Behind the Feature: Claire Hoffman on Interviewing Amy Winehouse
• Photos: Not Fade Away: Amy Winehouse and More Rockers Lost Before Their Time
• Video: Amy Winehouse: Remembering the Soul Icon
• Video: U2 Pay Tribute to Amy Winehouse
• Family: Amy Winehouse’s Death ‘Leaves a Gaping Hole In Our Lives’
• Courtney Love on Amy Winehouse: ‘I’m Gutted’