Saturday, 2 January 2010

Two names you don't often see together

Whilst I was meandering through my iTunes, last night, I came across some Amy Winehouse tracks. Winehouse has a great voice - Back to Black and You Know I'm No Good deserve classic status; but her mental fragility led to her disintegrating into a destructive vortex of alcohol, drugs and crazy behaviour.  Now there are rumours of a new album, whilst, at the same time, a reported reconciliation with her ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil. If the stories of her getting back with Fielder-Civil are true, then it can, in the long term, only be bad news, as he admitted to introducing her to crack and other substances. I find it hard to envisage a happy ending to the Winehouse story.

The name you wouldn't often see alongside Winehouse's is that of Susan Boyle. Catapulted into the world's consciousness last April, many feared for her - she had led a very simple, sheltered life and seemed unprepared for life in the media spotlight. The day after the BGT final, the implosion appeared to have happened, as she was taken into the Priory for rest - how many times have we read those words? But we reckoned without the steel in Boyle's backbone, the grit and determination honed by years of caring for her mother, during which Boyle sacrificed her musical ambitions for what she considered her duty. Since the end of BGT Susan Boyle has travelled worldwide, including a visit to Japan over New Year, been feted and praised by all manner of luminaries and has released an album which has been top of the charts in the UK, USA, Australia and God knows where else, for weeks. Boyle is relishing her second chance at life.

So, Amy Winehouse and Susan Boyle. Both massively talented, both apparently mentally fragile - one grabs her chance with both hands, survives and thrives, the second crashes and burns, throwing tantrums along the way. Who would ever have predicted that the survivor would be Susan Boyle?

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