I'd put writing about this off because I'm really tired but then it won't be the anniversary of her death anymore, so...when Amy died I didn't light a candle because at the time I just couldn't stomach her. She looked weird, and the bun, and the rather dramatic weight loss, and she was so foul-mouthed and contralto in her songs I just could not. Stand her.
I'd downloaded some of her music when she was still alive, and actually listened to it, so I tried. She's still the only famous Jewish pop singer I can think of offhand besides Barbra Streisand and as someone with a Jewish father, I admired her for that, because Jewish stars are rare and usually immensely talented if they do become famous. So knowing how celebrated and popular (and Jewish) she was, I tried to like her, or at least her music.
Then, I think sometime shortly after she passed, I listened to another song of hers. I can't recall if it was something I'd downloaded previously and perhaps never played because I was so disgusted with her other music and overall persona or if I just happened to catch it on Youtube, but I was crying before the song was over. It was a completely uncharacteristic-for-her ballad called Love Is A Losing Game. While I can do without the "five story fire" early on (I never understood what she thought she was adding to her catalog with her bawdiness or profanity, and I still don't) the rest of the song is a haunting retrospective on love gone wrong.
Seriously, there are maybe five songs in the world I can't listen to more than a few times a year, and even then only if I'm prepared to start crying because I know that's where this is going, and this song is on that list.
With that, I not only forgave her transgressions against my ears and fashion sense, I actually, really got into her music. All of it. Now there's almost nothing mainstream I can hear from her that I don't like or already know the words to, with (so far) Tears Dry On Their Own (a rather upbeat and energetic live version she performed in Berlin; I don't really care for the studio recording or other versions), Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow and Valerie among my favorites.
In clicking on news about her tonight I found some more covers she did, most of which I don't think I've heard yet, and saw mention of a posthumous album, Lioness: Hidden Treasures, which I'm pretty sure I haven't heard all the way through (but I'm playing it on Youtube while I type this; it's OK, so far; she could perform Valerie half-asleep and totally acapella and I swear I'd still dig it).