Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 27 January 2015

Winehouse's father: She loved people

CHELMSFORD, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 17:  Amy Winehouse performs live on the V stage during Day Two of V Festival 2008 at Hylands Park on August 17, 2008 in Chelmsford, England.  (Photo by Simone Joyner/Getty Images)
Amy Winehouse

According to her father, Amy Winehouse was always "fully engaged" with people.

The grieving father of the late singer set up the Amy Winehouse Foundation after his daughter's death in 2011.

The project aims to empower young people via music, but Mitch is also working hard to preserve the star's memory.

"[I wish everyone could see] the way she was with people," he told Black Book.

"When Back to Black had just come out, we went for a stroll through London, and we popped into shops she frequented, where everyone knew her. But she too knew everything about these people, asking, 'How’s your mum? Your sister? Did she have the baby?' She was fully engaged with other people. There are a lot of young ladies in her position who wouldn’t be like that. That’s what I want people to understand and realise about her. She didn’t really get that she was a superstar, which was wonderful. She was a normal kid with an astronomical talent."

During her life, the troubled singer struggled with substance abuse and spent time in rehab.

The hardest part for her parents was that Amy had made great progress by the time she passed away from accidental alcohol poisoning.

"Quite frankly, had she died in 2007, 2008, I would have put my hands up and said, 'Fair enough' because she was very ill, and there was a sense of helplessness then. But she proved that she could deal with her drug addiction, and we felt she was moving in the same way with the alcohol as well, but it just wasn’t," Mitch explained.

Yesterday, Amy was remembered at the Amy Winehouse Foundation Inspiration Awards and Gala.

Tony Bennett was honoured at the event in New York City, explaining he believed the singer "had a great life because she ended up praying for the success that she wanted and it happened."

The 86-year-old entertained guests with his singing and Jennifer Hudson also performed.

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