Amy Winehouse’s Death Prompts Promotions, Controversy

Microsoft forced to apologize for tweet advertising her music on Zune

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Amy Winehouse’s Death Prompts Promotions, Controversy
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Over the weekend, the music world was hit with the loss of Amy Winehouse. The troubled 27-year-old singer was found dead in her London apartment on Saturday.

Winehouse burst on the scene with her hit “Rehab” and famously battled drug and alcohol addictions throughout her short career. Although an overdose is suspected by many as her cause of death, an official cause has yet to be determined. CBS is reporting that the coroner on the case has ruled that there are no suspicious circumstances in Winehouse’s death.

Of course when any entertainer passes, whether it’s due to tragedy or simply old age, the products of said entertainer see a surge in popularity. When famous movie star dies, we might see increased sales and rentals of their films or we might see book sales skyrocket when an author passes.

Sales of Winehouse’s music have exploded following her death, but one retailer has found itself embroiled in a bit of controversy.

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 PR in the UK tweeted this a few hours ago –

Remember Amy Winehouse by downloading the ground-breaking ‘Back to Black’ over at Zune: http://t.co/rWQb0CK?culture=en-gb 5 hours ago via web · powered by @socialditto

Many felt that this was incredibly insensitive and lacking in class, as it clearly looks as though Microsoft is trying to capitalize monetarily on a tragic death.

After receiving tons of tweets in reply such as “Stay classy, Microsoft PR Jackals” and “Talk about cashing in on someones death!” the company issued an apology in the form of two tweets –

Apologies to everyone if our earlier Amy Winehouse ‘download’ tweet seemed purely commercially motivated. Far from the case, we assure you. 3 hours ago via web · powered by @socialditto

With Amy W’s passing, the world has lost a huge talent. Our thoughts are with Amy’s family and friends at this very sad time. 3 hours ago via web · powered by @socialditto

The question here is this: Does bringing attention to a star’s death in collusion with offering products or merchandise step over the line? Or is it just timely marketing?

Microsoft is definitely not the only company to advertise Amy Winehouse music in the wake of her death. Apple is running and “Remembering Amy” advertisement today and Amazon has a Amy Winehouse 1983-2011 box on both its “Music” and “MP3″ pages. This box links to her albums and songs, available through Amazon.

How has Amy Winehouse’s death affected her album sales? Another question might be how well have these promotions worked?

Well, her album Back to Black is #1 on iTunes right now. And Back to Black B-Sides is the #4 album. Her song “Rehab” is the #10 song on iTunes. Back to Black is the #2 album on Amazon’s MP3 downloads and the #1 album on physical CD sales.

With her death, Winehouse joins music’s most famous club – the 27 club. Other notable musicians that have died at the age of 27 include Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin.

Amy Winehouse’s Death Prompts Promotions, Controversy
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  • http://seekyt.com/ Cameron

    In such a tragic situation it is only natural that people would want to remember her by buying her music. I can understand the concern over the way the promotions are being done but at the same time, people who have never heard her songs will want to know where to purchase them.

    I personally knew who she was because of all the media attention she received during her career which was mostly negative reports of her getting into trouble, but I had never heard her sing, perform or her albums.

    I know that sounds crazy but its true, I just watched a video of her performing on Youtube and was really impressed with her voice, it is so bluesy and reminds me of an old jazz soul singer.

    To be so young she was so talented and I regret I missed out, although she is dead I will be buying her music. Even if it is bad timing.

    Thanks for mentioning Amazon, that is where I will probably order it.

  • Marie

    A poor torn heart,a tattered heart,
    That sat it down to rest,
    Nor noticed that the ebbing day
    Flowed silver to the west,
    Nor noticed night did soft decend
    Nor constellation burn,
    Intent upon the vision
    Of latitudes unknown.

    The angels,happening that way,
    This dusty heart espied;
    Tenderly took it up from toil
    And carried it to God.
    There,–sandals for the barefoot;
    There,–gathered from the gales,
    Do the blue havens by the hand
    Lead the wandering sails.

    –Emily Dickinson

    Amy,I pray your tattered heart and weary soul are at peace now.
    My deepest condolences to her family and loved ones…
    Rest well,beautiful girl.You will never be forgotten.

  • Tsholofelo

    Hope this sends massage to the youth,the passing of Amy is a loss we hope that people may stog this speculations of what caused her death they must just let her rest peacefully she may be gone but she will never be fogotten

  • http://facebook Diana

    i miss u Amy

  • adnankhan

    fell sorry for her ,

  • Neil

    Here is an online memorial to Amy – feel free to light a virtual candle or send virtual flowers:

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