Friday, January 25, 2008

Amy Winehouse: so lovely that somebody cares

So, Winehouse is in rehab, as - it seems - a contractual obligation, seeing as how it's Universal Records that has issued the official statement:

Amy Winehouse's planned appearance at the NRJ Awards in France on Saturday has been cancelled as the artist has entered a rehabilitation clinic.

Amy decided to enter the facility today after talks with her record label, management, family and doctors. She has come to understand that she requires specialist treatment to continue her ongoing recovery from drug addiction and prepare for her planned appearance at the Grammy Awards. She is nominated in an incredible 6 categories.

Amy entered the facility by mutual agreement and continues to receive the full support of all concerned.

Amy is the most talented and important musical artist of her generation and has made huge strides on her road to recovery. Universal Music Group wants nothing more than to see her take the time she needs to come back to full health and fulfil her incredible potential with the label.

The label has always had the best interests of Amy at heart and has been guided by her family and doctors in the last few months as to the best direction to take.

All concerned feel that Amy must put her health before all other considerations and will be by her side whenever and wherever they are needed.

Fascinating, isn't it? The claim that she is "the most talented and most important musical artist of her generation" (really? The Most? And is this really the place for vacuous and clearly spurious marketing slogans?); the hopeful description of the rehab as part of an "ongoing" recovery, but most notably, that false concern.

Universal want her to "take the time she needs" but, at the same time, has made it clear she's gone to rehab to get into a decent state to do the marketing jig at the Grammys. In other words, she can have about a week and a half, but then back to work.

That doesn't seem like anything like enough - even in patients who aren't using crack and coke to self-medicate other problems, the withdrawal cravings can continue for weeks, with a high-risk of relapsing. Even if Amy's withdrawal is simple, it's hardly helpful to insist that she be sorted out by a cut-off point.

There hangs a suspicion that this spell in rehab is more about getting Amy a visa than getting Amy clean. If that isn't the case, Universal should be ashamed for issuing a "take all the time you need - providing it's not more than a fortnight" public statement.