Tony Bennett to honor Amy Winehouse at MTV Video Music Awards
Tony Bennett will lead a tribute to the late Amy Winehouse at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, the network announced Tuesday.
Winehouse teamed up with the iconic singer to record the duet “Body and Soul” for his upcoming "Duets II" album, and Bennett will make his first appearance on the VMA stage since 1993 to pay homage to the singer. Bennett will introduce the segment, which is set to include footage from their recording session together.
“Body and Soul” was reportedly Winehouse’s final studio session and took place in March at Abbey Road Studios in London. The single and video will be released by Columbia Records on Sept. 14, which would have been Winehouse's 28th birthday. Proceeds of the single will support the Amy Winehouse Foundation, which the singer's family recently established to help a number of charities connected with children and young people.
“Our family is honored that the VMA’s are giving Amy this wonderful tribute," her father, Mitch Winehouse, said in a statement. "We know that Amy’s performance of 'Rehab' at the MTV Movie Awards played an important part in Amy’s worldwide success.”
Bennett revealed to Pop & Hiss that he attempted to give the British songstress some advice during the studio session.
"I was trying to tell her, 'You have so much talent. Slow down on the drugs or it's going to kill you,' " he said. "And then when I heard she died, I couldn't stop crying. She was such a talent, so sweet."
The 2011 MTV Video Music Awards will air live from Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Sunday at 9 p.m. and feature performances from Lady Gaga, Adele, Bruno Mars, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, Pitbull, Young the Giant and Jessie J.
-- Gerrick D. Kennedy
Photo: Amy Winehouse and Tony Bennett at a recording session, singing "Body and Soul" for Tony's upcoming album. Credit: Mark Allen /Columbia Records