Although not exactly the big-time production most were expecting last night, the MTV Video Music Awards paid their respects to Amy Winehouse with a modest, yet touching homage to the late singer.
Russell Brand and Tony Bennett took the stage to share personal stories of their first meetings with Winehouse. Brand recalled his first run in with Winehouse as unremarkable, writing her off as an "ordinary girl with extraordinary hair." Despite a not-so-great first impression, Amy's amazing voice soon won him over, calling the sound “a roar from the guts of humanity."
"She was suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction," Russell continued, acknowledging what would ultimately lead to the singer's downfall. "A lot of people just get the disease, not many people get the incredible talent Amy was blessed with."
"Amy had the whole gift," Tony Bennett said of Winehouse. "Of all the young artists I've ever met in the last 20 years, she was a true jazz artist in the tradition of Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday." Bennett, one of the last to play with Amy, also introduced some never-before-seen footage of the two recording a cover of Body and Soul for his upcoming Duets II album.
Singer Bruno Mars brought his musical stylings to the mix, taking the stage for a 1950s inspired performance of Amy's hit Valerie.
Watch the clip for Tony and Russell's full VMA tribute.