The artist Keith Richards thought had a “disappointing” career

News The artist Keith Richards thought had a “disappointing” career

It’s practically a miracle of modern science that Keith Richards has been able to stick around as long as he has. In an industry concerned with artists burning out rather than fading away, Keef has been making the rounds today as one of the most rock-solid rhythm players in the world, playing off of Steve Jordan with the same ferocity that he used to with Charlie Watts. While Richards always had time to talk about the people who inspired him, he believed that the loss of Amy Winehouse left a hole in music that would never be properly filled.

Then again, Richards has never been known to always have his finger on the pulse of new music. For as long as he has had time in the spotlight, Richards was happy to tear artists a new one rather than putting them up on a pedestal, famously saying that a handful of Beatles albums were rubbish.

That kind of mentality didn’t start to suddenly soften with age. As much as the new school may have been taking cues from what Richards created on albums like Beggars Banquet and Sticky Fingers, he never claimed to be proud of the hard rock genre, famously labelling Black Sabbath and Metallica as jokes when he heard them.

In a world that was all about expanding the scope of where music could go, Winehouse was making a name for herself by going in the exact opposite direction. Compared to the artists who were expanding their palette with technology and samples in the 2000s, Winehouse’s booming voice felt just as much at home in 2006 as it would have been in 1966, featuring a signature smokey texture that made her impossible to resist.

While Back to Black cemented Winehouse as one of the biggest talents working in the modern age, her struggles with her demons would eventually get the better of her. Not being equipped to deal with the massive load of fame, Winehouse would be nursing a drinking problem and would ultimately be found dead at the age of 27 of alcohol poisoning.

Considering Richards had already had first-hand experience with the ‘27 Club’ after the death of Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones, Winehouse’s death hit him incredibly hard. Speaking to The Quietus, Richards thought it was a real missed opportunity not to see Winehouse come into her own, saying, “Amy Winehouse was a big disappointment because I was waiting for that girl to really bloom because she was really just starting, and I thought she was fantastic. It was such a shame”.

For as little material as she put out, though, Winehouse’s legacy is still being felt by modern artists today. From the way that she sang to her matter-of-fact way of delivering lines, artists as varied as Adele and Billie Eilish have all cited her as a primary influence when getting their own music off the ground. Winehouse may have burned out far too quickly for everyone to appreciate, but just because she’s gone doesn’t mean that her voice isn’t still echoing throughout history.

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