Entertainment legend Tony Bennett has spoken a lot about
working with the late Amy Winehouse during the promotion of his forthcoming
jazz album, "Duets II," which includes collaborations with contemporary artists
Lady Gaga, Sheryl Crow, Queen Latifah, and Winehouse, among others.
But the interviews have mainly focused on Winehouse's talent
and how she impressed Bennett with her knowledge of music. In an interview with
ABC's "20/20" that aired Friday, Bennett discussed his concerns for the singer,
who appears with him on the "Duets II" song "Body And Soul."
"She sang beautifully and then I just regretted that I
wasn't able to tell her to slow down," Bennett told "20/20."
Bennett said he could relate to Winehouse's bout with
drugs. "Many years ago, I had a touch of
the drugs and was playing to full houses, and people were kinda putting up with
me," Bennett revealed.
Bennett said learning about another artist's challenges with
drugs helped him change his own self-destructive behavior. The other troubled artist
was said to have "sinned against his talent." That description put things into
perspective for Bennett. "Boy, that one sentence changed my life. It meant I
stopped all drugs completely," Bennett said.
"I said, 'I don't want to die. I love life.' Life is a
gift," Bennett continued. "I wanted to tell her, 'You gotta stop, 'cause if you
don't, you're going to die.' And then she died. Twenty-seven-years-old. She died. So the
whole secret is to live long and enjoy life."
Winehouse was ecstatic to work with Bennett. In behind-the-scenes
footage from the making of "Duets II," Winehouse recalled meeting Bennett at
the 2008 Grammys, when Bennett presented her with the Record Of The Year award.
"I was in shock, not because I won the Grammy, but because
Tony Bennett said my name," Winehouse said. "Standing shoulder to shoulder was
amazing. It was a dream come true for me."
Bennett said he and Winehouse bonded when he told her that
she reminded him of an celebrated jazz singer. "I said to her, 'I may be
wrong, but I think you were influenced by Dinah Washington.' That did it. She
said, 'How did you know that? That's my goddess. I love her more than anybody.'
That changed the whole record date."
Bennett's Winehouse stories aren't the only artist's
reflections that made news this week. Country icon Alan Jackson is also in the
press for revisiting his song "Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)"
released 10 years ago as a tribute to September 11. Soulja Boy was forced to
reflect on his choice of lyrics after experiencing backlash for his
anti-U.S. Army reference in his song "Let's Be Real." He has since apologized.
Nick Jonas will revive his days of starring in stage
productions. He announced this week that he would be taking on Daniel
Radcliffe's role in the Broadway run of "How To Succeed In Business
Without Really Trying." And lastly, Lil Wayne continues to dominate hip-hop
with the release of his latest album, "Tha Carter IV," which debuted at No. 1
Wednesday with sales of nearly 1 million.
For more information on this week's stories, see the
links below. We'll see you next week for another music news roundup.
THIS WEEK'S TOP 5
MUSIC NEWS STORIES
1) "Where Were You" -- Alan Jackson remembers his tribute to
2) President Carter -- Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter IV" sells more
than 900,000 copies.
3) Dishonorable Discharge -- Soulja Boy apologizes for negative
lyrics about the Army.
4) Unheard Advice -- Tony Bennett regrets not talking to
Amy Winehouse about drugs.
5) Post-High School Musical -- Nick Jonas is headed to Broadway.
Tony Bennett and Amy Winehouse photo credit: Mark Allan
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