Amy Winehouse only spent about five years being famous, from the 2006 release of her landmark album Back to Black to her untimely death this July. But in those five years she was such a constant, targeted presence in the tabloids, her and especially in her native UK, that it was possible to think she'd been there forever; at various points over her long decline into alcoholism that led to her death, we saw her stripped to her bra and crying, pushing away cameras or otherwise falling apart, all courtesy of the tabloids that maintained her fame by calling her cruel nicknames and having virtually no sympathy for a woman who had clearly lost control of her own life.

She lived and died with the tabloids breathing down her neck, so it makes some kind of sad sense that one specific British tabloid, The Sun, has been given the exclusive reveal of one of the last things she'll leave on this earth: a new album. Winehouse's father Mitch, courting tabloid attention to such an inexplicable degree that he allowed The Sun to watch him listen to the first time to his daughter's recordings, told them while wiping away tears, ""It wasn't until I sat down with the rest of the family and listened to this album that I fully appreciated the breadth of her talent. From jazz standards to hip-hop songs, it took my breath away."

The album, titled Amy Winehouse Lioness: Hidden Treasures-- you can see the album cover over there-- will be released in December, including some covers of 60's standards like "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow," and new songs like "Between the Cheats" about her short-lived marriage to Blake Fielder-Civil. Her father Mitch claims that it is up to the standard of Back to Black, and if it hadn't been they wouldn't have released it, but of course what else would he say when trying to sell one more album off his daughter's legacy?

I have no doubt that Mitch Winehouse is in deep, terrible mourning for his daughter, and of course he has my sympathy. But it gives me the willies knowing that he's invited in the tabloids that hounded his daughter her entire life, not just to promote her yet again, but to hear for the first time the last work she ever did. Why does he continue to court them? Why can't he keep this private? I"m glad we'll get to hear more of Winehouse's remarkable talents, but I hate that the album is already part of the tabloid publicity machine that sat by cackling during her slow, inexorable death.



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