One of the most touching tributes to Amy Winehouse today came from Tony Bennett, probably the last musician she recorded with.
Bennett told US Weekly: “She was an extraordinary musician with a rare intuition as a vocalist and I am truly devastated that her exceptional talent and has come to such an early end.”
In March, Bennett recorded the classic song “Body and Soul” with Winehouse at London’s Abbey Road Studios.
“When we recorded together, she gave a soulful and extraordinary performance,” Bennett said. “I was honored to have the opportunity to sing with her.”
The legendary singer went on: “It had been my sincere hope that she would be able to overcome the issues she was battling and I send my deepest sympathy to her father Mitchell, her entire family and all of those who loved her.”
The loss was felt especially strongly in Winehouse’s own London neighborhood.
A spontaneous vigil sprang up in front of the singer’s home in Camden, a gathering that grew in size as the day went on, according to various news reports. “Dozens of bouquets and candles have been left on the railings at the end of the road where Amy Winehouse lived,” reported the BBC.
Down the street, fans and friends at the local pub, The Hawley Arms, celebrated her life.
“Apart from her extraordinary musical talent, she was a special person with a good soul and this should not have happened,” read a statement from the pub. “We feel privileged to have known her and we will sorely miss her.” (When Winehouse won a major music award, she sent the landlord of the The Hawley Arms to pick it up, reports The Manchester Evening News.)
“This was her favourite Camden pub,” reported the BBC, “but the management appeared determined not to turn the night into a wake.”
“She made this pub her home and everyone remembers what a good laugh she was,” one regular said. “She even used to serve behind the bar sometimes. She was part of the community in Camden.”
And the community is clearly feeling they’ve lost one of their own, said the BBC’s reporter at the scene: “It was a very Camden memorial, and one you felt sure Amy would have approved of.”
At the same time, digital technologies and social media meant that the outpourings of condolences were overwhelming, worldwide and immediate.
Even before Winehouse’s death was confirmed by mainstream media, it was a major trending topic on Twitter, reports the Daily Mail, which also estimated that “within minutes 20 m[illion people] were talking to each other on Twitter about the singer’s sudden death.”
And some of those people were celebrities – here’s a small sampling of what they had to say:
MissKellyO Kelly Osbourne
i cant even breath right my now im crying so hard i just lost 1 of my best friends. i love you forever Amy & will never forget the real you!
katyperry Katy Perry
RIP Amy Winehouse. May she finally find peace.
UsherRaymondIV Usher Raymond IV
I’m so sad to hear the horrible news of Amy Winehouse’s death. I’m so happy I knew you Amy…Rest Well. Gone Too Soon…we’ll miss you!!
SarahBrownUK Sarah Brown (wife of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown)
sad sad news of Amy Winehouse – great talent, extraordinary voice, and tragic death, condolences to her family
Devastated. I spent extraordinary times with Amy. She sang for me once for hours, it was the most beautiful& touching thing. A huge loss / She was the closet thing we have ever had to Billie Holiday, she was a true soulful talent. I’m so sad. I hope she is at peace.
Its just beyond sad, there’s nothing else to say. She was such a lost soul, may she rest in peace.
leannrimes LeAnn Rimes
sometimes people’s demons are too hard to fight. I can only imagine her pain. What I imagine that torture is like makes me hurt.
BigBoi Big Boi of OUTKAST
Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and now Amy Winehouse. All died aged 27. RIP to you all.
Drugs took her gift, her soul, her light, long before they took her life. RIP Amy bit.ly/mTu1kI
JulietteLewis Juliette Lewis
Im so upset that Amy didnt make it out of the prison that is drugs/alcohol addiction.She was such a funny and unique soul.I’m so sad rght now. / We played a show in London.She called me Jewelz all night and wouldnt leave my side. She was very funny,tuff And endearing