The thing about emotion today is that it's public. When Kurt Cobain and Janis Joplin died at 27, there was likely no outpouring of love and grievance on Twitter to show appreciation and anger on behalf of the dead. But with Amy Winehouse's passing two days ago, the online entertainment community has been able to talk of nothing else, and it's remarkably touching.
From Rihanna to Russell Brand, celebrities have been offering their condolences and emotional responses through the web continuously since the 27-year-old singer was found dead in her London apartment. While some people's messages have been snide, bordering on disrespectful — along the lines of her death was not surprising — her fellow entertainers have nothing but regret and admiration to offer.
The messages focus on her talent, and how her distinctive voice and style forever changed what's possible in the music industry. Her well-documented addictions are addressed, but not condemned. In reading through the entertainers' thoughts on the passing of one of their own, it's clear how personal such tragedies are — to some extent, they've all shared the same experience of the pressures of performance and celebrity. The music community has been shaken, and the usually crass system of online communication has become a surprisingly powerful means of showing it. Rolling Stone has documented the messages and reactions from Winehouse's friends and fellow entertainers.