She’s demonstrated the resemblance in an uncanny Instagram pic–are we about to hear the Amy Winehouse influence in Lady Gaga’s music? It’s been three years since Winehouse, the great English soul singer and songwriter, died at the tender rock star age of 27. A supernova of talent and trouble, Winehouse won five Grammys before succumbing to a death brought on by acute alcohol abuse. Had she emerged from alcohol dependency the way she seemed to have overcome drug problems that plagued her–she was clean of drugs at the time of her death–she might have been as influential a voice as Frank Sinatra, after whom she named her first album, the smash hit Frank.
Lady Gaga, a talented musician with major chops, owns a public image more famous for being an outrageous performer with a strong political voice–as well as a Madonna-like chameleon. (She is one of the most financially successful musicians of all time.) But as yet Gaga doesn’t bring to mind so quickly, as Winehouse did, the kinds of predecessors primarily known for their extraordinary vocal stylings–singers like Billie Holiday and Aretha Franklin. She easily might, if she chose this aspect of her talent to emphasize–and the Instagram pic might be a clue about the direction she’s headed. Lady Gaga is doubtless a talent whose boundaries haven’t yet been bumped against and a performer who has shown a remarkable ability to mine the history of pop to create unique sights and sounds. (And even scents.) Besides, Lady Gaga has done something that Amy Winehouse never could: she’s 28.