Russell Brand may be known for his eccentric appearance and comedic talent, but the guy is also an incredible writer — a skill on full display in a touching and insightful tribute he wrote in memory of Amy Winehouse.
The 27-year-old singer-songwriter passed away in London on Saturday, and while an initial autopsy was inconclusive about the cause of death, many have noted to the artist's history of drug and alcohol abuse.
In his blog post, Brand remembers Winehouse as a "beautiful, talented woman" and reminisces about the first time his ears caught her sound, saying:
"From her oddly dainty presence that voice, a voice that seemed not to come from her but from somewhere beyond even Billie and Ella, from the font of all greatness. A voice that was filled with such power and pain that it was at once entirely human yet laced with the divine."
Brand, who has dealt with substance abuse in the past, writes that without treatment, he likely would not be around today.
"Addiction is a serious disease; it will end with jail, mental institutions or death," he writes. "I was 27 years old when, through the friendship and help of Chip Somers of the treatment centre, Focus12, I found recovery, through Focus I was introduced to support fellowships for alcoholics and drug addicts which are very easy to find and open to anybody with a desire to stop drinking and without which I would not be alive."
Winehouse, according to Brand, was a genius increasingly "defined by her addiction" and now romanticized in the same vein as other celebrities who died at 27, like Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison. He concludes by urging society to reform the way it views people battling addiction, "not as criminals but as sick people in need of care."
"Not all of us know someone with the incredible talent that Amy had but we all know drunks and junkies and they all need help and the help is out there," he writes. "All they have to do is pick up the phone and make the call. Or not. Either way, there will be a phone call."