I shouldn't be, but I can't help but be a bit surprised at her passing. While her struggles with drugs and alcohol were well-publicized and seemed to be far-reaching; it had seemed that she was trying to get her life back on track. Rehab (multiple stints) and recent recording sessions proved someone who still had something to say and wanted to be able to say it. Plus, it seems like there have been a slew of musicians with major drug problems that lived long past what was expected...Keith Richards is still alive.
Would not be so for Winehouse. In passing, she joins the fabled 27 club; a group of prominent musicians who all passed away at the age of 27 mostly due to severe emotional or drug problems. Keith Richards' bandmate Brian Jones, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison all died at that age in the late '60s and early '70s. It wasn't until 1994 that the next major musician, Kurt Cobain, would also go at that age. Many less prominent musicians also have lost their lives at that age.
One has to wonder what combination of factors may have led to Winehouse's death, and those of other musicians taken far too young. Only last week, I included Winehouse on a list of musicians I'd like to see more music from. With her, I had the caveat of her getting to a place where she could record again. Unfortunately, it seems to have come too little too late.