Published July 25, 2011
A month ago Amy Winehouse canceled her European concert because she was too drunk to even stand on stage.
Last weekend she died alone in her London home.
Binging and erratic behavior were nothing new for the singer who penned the lyrics: “They tried to make me go to rehab, I said, no, no, no.” But could the “they” in that now telling tune have ever saved this talented young singer from herself?
Some music insiders tell Fox411 that Winehouse may have felt pressured to perform to generate money for her label and the machine that profited off her talent and fame.
“She obviously wasn’t ready to be on any stage or in front of any camera, but when people are paying $120 a ticket, you can be sure someone is going to prop her up on that stage,” one concert promoter told Fox411 about what goes on behind the scenes when dealing with a troubled star on a big tour.
Addiction experts told Fox411 last month that given Winehouse’s history with drug and alcohol abuse, she needed a stay of three months or more in a very serious rehabilitation facility in order to prepare for the rigors of a global tour.
Winehouse had spent just one week in treatment before taking the stage in Belgrade, it turns out, for the last time.
After Winehouse's death, Yahoo! music blogger Chris Willman diaried the history of family members who had dealt with, and talked about, Winehouse’s addictions.
"I realize my daughter could be dead within the year," her mother, Janis said in 2008. "We're watching her kill herself, slowly. I've already come to terms with her dead. I've steeled myself to ask her what ground she wants to be buried in, which cemetery.”
Her former father-in-law Giles Fielder-Civil, whose son Blake was married to Winehouse from 2007-2009, suggested a fan boycott of her albums to save the troubled star by cutting off her supply of cash. "It's a possibility, to send that message... It's about time that their friends and their professional colleagues say to them ‘enough is enough'," the elder Fielder-Civil said in 2007.
Winehouse’s own father, Mitch, went on record saying he thought the record company was doing the best they could given his daughter’s extreme addiction issues.
“There's only one person to blame and that's Amy," Mitch said four years ago. “There's no question of the record company or her family trying to work her to the bone. These are some of the accusations that have been leveled at us…The record company isn't as callous as some people think it is."
Maybe not callous, but record and management companies are certainly bottom-line oriented. Entertainment experts point to stars like Robert Downey Jr. and Drew Barrymore who let addiction get the best of them, and then were forced by good friends, family and perhaps most importantly, management, to clean up.
“Anyone can be saved from the power of addiction with a good support system, dedication to rehab and dedication to being sober. Amy is no exception to this,” Dorothy Cascerceri, Senior Editor at InTouch Weekly told Fox411. “She did remove herself from the spotlight for a period of time where we didn't hear any new music from her, and we didn't hear about any drama in her life.”
But someone working to get her on tour, and it probably wasn't Winehouse herself.
“The short term concern of revenue can undermine the right long term decisions to have appropriate treatment,” said Dr. Marvin D. Seppala, the Chief Medical Officer for Hazelden Addiction Treatment Centers. “They can push the individual back to work, and the afflicted often would prefer to work than focus on the real and painful reality of this disease.”
Clinical psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere believes that an addict is the only one who can save himself or herself, but wonders why she was allowed to go on tour in the first place.
“They must have the desire to change. You cannot force an addict into rehab,” Gardere told Fox411. Yet he added, “Why was she allowed to perform recently while obviously and severely impaired?”
Could Winehouse's tragic death at the age of 27 serve at least as a cautionary tale for aspiring young pop stars?
“Winehouse struggled with fame, and being in the limelight and seemed to get lost in drugs as a way of coping with it,” Cascerceri told Fox411. "The tragedy of her untimely death is certainly a cautionary tale for other young musicians and actresses in Hollywood who get so lost in partying that they lose their way.”