News Roundup: Mourning – and Celebrating – Amy Winehouse
Amy Winehouse’s family made an emotional visit today to the Camden house where she died. Her divorced parents spoke to well-wishers and broke down as they viewed the tributes left by throngs of visitors.
Amy’s mother, Janis, took photos on her cell phone of the impromptu memorials, flowers and artwork.
One note read: “Too fragile, too beautiful, too big a talent for this world.”
A teary Mitchell Winehouse, the singer’s father, told the crowd: “I can’t tell you what this means to us – it really is making this a lot easier for us. Amy was about one thing and that was love, her whole life was devoted to her family and her friends and to you guys as well. We’re devastated and I’m speechless but thanks for coming.”
The retired London cabdriver also addressed reporters specifically: “You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. I know a lot of you, we’ve been together for five, six years, I know you’ve got a job to do. I’m glad you’re all here anyway,” said the elder Winehouse, who, upon hearing the news of his daughter’s death, had flown back from New York where he had been scheduled to make his own musical debut. (via The Guardian)
In other news related to Amy Winehouse’s death:
• The singer’s funeral has been set for tomorrow (Tuesday). A family spokesman said the private service “for family and close friends” will be held at an undisclosed time and location.
The inquest into the singer’s death was opened, and quickly adjourned today until October 26th. London’s Metropolitan police said the initial post-mortem did not determine the formal cause of Winehouse’s death and that further tests would take two to four weeks. An officer for the coroner said that Winehouse’s home “was investigated by police and determined non-suspicious.” (via the AP)
• Amy Winehouse’s goddaughter, Dionne Bromfield, performed onstage at a music festival just two hours after learning of her mentor’s death.
A spokesman for the concert’s promoters told the BBC, “We would have perfectly understood if she hadn’t wanted to perform but she very bravely did.”
The 15-year-old Bromfield, who sang at Ponty’s Big Weekend in Pontypridd on Saturday, didn’t mention Winehouse, but everyone surely was aware that the two had performed together just days before when Winehouse made what had apparently been a surprise visit to a concert Bromfield gave in Camden. It turned out to be Winehouse’s last public appearance.
• With Winehouse’s relatively slim output of music, everyone is of course wondering whether there’s unreleased work that we’ll eventually hear.
At the time of her death, Winehouse had been working with her Back to Black producer Mark Ronson. PopCrush.com reports that Ronson “was said to be infusing her trademark throwback, blues-soul-jazz-jukebox sound with a more reggae influence.” PopCrush also cites rumors that her label wasn’t happy with the result.
“No one is sure what level of completion the album is at,” continued the report, “or if there is even enough material available to be cobbled together for an entire album. If there are even full songs existing beyond demo form is another matter of debate. No one really knows, since so much conflicting information has been released in the press.”
However, there is one piece of encouraging news: Dionne Bromfield told Digital Spy back in April that she’d listened to the new music: “I have heard it, and it’s very good!”
We do know that there’s going to be at least one posthumously released song – the famed “Body and Soul,” duet she recorded with Tony Bennett. Here’s a video clip from The Guardian in which Bennett discusses what it was like to work with Winehouse. Recorded before her death, it’s another touching tribute from the legendary crooner: