Tony Bennett is set to pay tribute to Amy Winehouse at the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) on Sunday (28.08.11).
The 85-year-old crooner will return to the VMAs for the first time since 1993 to introduce a homage to the late ‘Rehab’ singer- who died suddenly at her London home on July 23, aged 27- which will include footage of her last ever recording, working with him in March on the track ‘Body and Soul’.
He said in a statement: “It was a thrill to record with Amy Winehouse, and when you listen to the recording of ‘Body and Soul’, it is a testament to her artistic genius and her brilliance as one of the most honest musicians I have ever known.”
The single and video will be released on her birthday – September 14 – to support the Amy Winehouse Foundation, a charity which is being set up by her family. The song will also feature on Tony’s ‘Duets II’ album.
Amy’s father, Mitch Winehouse, said: “Our family is honoured that the VMAs are giving Amy this wonderful tribute.
“We know that Amy’s performance of ‘Rehab’ at the MTV Movie Awards played an important part in Amy’s worldwide success.”
Hip hop producer Salaam Remi – who produced tracks on Amy’s albums ‘Frank’ and ‘Back to Black’ -was halfway through working on new recordings with Amy at the time of her death.
He told Vibe.com: “We were in the middle of working on the album. She finished writing the record.
“For the last couple of weeks we were video chatting regularly. I was just talking to [rapper] Nas. Both her and Nas were born on September 14, so we were going to Barbados with all of them for her birthday.”
Yesterday (23.08.11), toxicology reports presented to Amy’s family confirmed she had no illegal substances in her body when she died. Alcohol was found in her system, but it is not known if that contributed to her death.