In today's Times of London, writer Caitlin Moran takes a look at British singers Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen. Both had albums produced by Mark Ronson, both launched careers at roughly the same time, both roughly the same age and both turn out quality product. But lately, both generate the most interest via their personal lives: This week, one was arrested and the other announced her pregnancy. Though pop music was dominated by men for many years, Winehouse and Allen join Beyoncé, Madonna, Rihanna and even Britney in turning things around. But, Moran claims, success these days comes with an extremely high price. "Although it is a good time to be a female pop star, it is, in general, a bad time to be a high-profile female," she writes. "In a nutshell, the pressures are immense and unparalleled." She urges us to think about the successful singers of yesteryear: Was the media attention as intense?
Moran notes that when they were 22, the Beatles were not photographed around the clock or followed by "a pack of screaming Eurotrash paparazzi on mopeds." And if they had been, would they have been able to, you know, make music? "In fact," she writes, "John Lennon was ONCE referred to as "the fat Beatle", and was so distraught about it that he semi-retired, retreated to Weybridge, and spent all his time taking acid and eating only corn-flakes. Just ONCE. And he was John LENNON."Moran believes that Amy and Lily just need a break. Amy's "life of high-profile addiction" is a way of retreating from the chaos; though she may end up in jail or rehab, she maybe secretly wants to. As for Lily,
By deciding to have a baby, Allen is — like Britney Spears before her — ducking out of facing international management teams, record companies, promoters and tour agents, and saying "I, Lily Allen, need to have a six-month holiday". Instead, she's having a baby — because no one can argue with a baby.
Drug addiction and an unwed pregnancy aside, the fact remains that the two women are handling their fame in very different ways. And here's a question: Who can we blame when the stars we so desperately want a piece of start falling apart?