Musicians Respond to Amy Winehouse's Death

Lady Gaga, Adele, Tony Bennett, M.I.A., Kelly Clarkson, Rihanna, George Michael and others grieve for singer

Amy Winehouse remembered
Simone Joyner/Getty Images
Amy Winehouse performing in London.
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Musicians around the world are mourning the loss of Amy Winehouse. Since news of the 27-year-old singer's death broke earlier today, many of her peers, collaborators and celebrity fans have publicly expressed their grief and offered words of condolences to her friends and family.

Tony Bennett, with whom Winehouse recorded a duet of the pop standard "Body and Soul" back in March, told Us Weekly that she was "an extraordinary musician with a rare intuition as a vocalist and I am truly devastated that her exceptional talent has come to such an early end. She was a lovely and intelligent person and when we recorded together she gave a soulful and extraordinary performance."

Mark Ronson, who produced several songs on Winehouse's album Back To Black and shared a Record of the Year Grammy with her in 2008, tweeted that "she was my musical soulmate & like a sister to me. this is one of the saddest days of my life."

Lady Gaga wrote on Twitter: "Amy changed pop music forever, I remember knowing there was hope, and feeling not alone because of her. She lived jazz, she lived the blues."

Adele saluted Winehouse on her blog, writing that "Amy paved the way for artists like me and made people excited about British music again whilst being fearlessly hilarious and blase about the whole thing. I don’t think she ever realized just how brilliant she was and how important she is, but that just makes her even more charming."

M.I.A. posted an unfinished demo (listen below) called "27" on Soundcloud and wrote "R.I.P. Amy" on Twitter.

27 by _M_I_A_

The Dap-Kings, who performed on Back to Black and toured with Winehouse in 2007, along with singer Sharon Jones released a statement saying, "We are very sad to have lost Amy Winehouse today.  She was one of a kind and we were fortunate to have had the chance to make music with her.  She was always gracious and a pleasure to work with in the studio and on the road.  She brought a lot of people joy with her voice and her irreverent personality.  It is a tragedy that she was taken from us so soon when she had much more music to give." Jones also paid tribute to Winehouse at the Global Soul show at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on Sunday, telling her audience "We're talking about this thing called soul. I'd like to take a minute to dedicate my set to Ms. Amy Winehouse. We lost a soul singer last night."

Comedian Russell Brand published a touching personal essay on his website yesterday in which he fondly recalled his friendship with the singer and reflected on her struggles with substance abuse in light of his own history of addiction. "Amy increasingly became defined by her addiction. Our media though is more interested in tragedy than talent, so the ink began to defect from praising her gift to chronicling her downfall. The destructive personal relationships, the blood soaked ballet slippers, the aborted shows, that YouTube madness with the baby mice. In the public perception this ephemeral tittle-tattle replaced her timeless talent," he wrote. "Addiction is a serious disease; it will end with jail, mental institutions or death. I was 27 years old when through the friendship and help of Chip Somers of the treatment centre, Focus12 I found recovery, through Focus I was introduced to support fellowships for alcoholics and drug addicts which are very easy to find and open to anybody with a desire to stop drinking and without which I would not be alive."

Courtney Love, on tour in Moscow, has shared her thoughts on the tragic death of Amy Winehouse with Rolling Stone: "I'm not even going to say, 'Waste of glorious sublime talent," which I feel," Love said of the 27-year-old singer. "I'm fucking gutted. I tried with her, I tried twice."

In a series of tweets, George Michael wrote "Amy was, in my opinion, the most soulful vocalist this country has ever seen. And her album Back to Black was the best album I had heard since the seventies. No question. It's a tragedy on two levels. Most important of course, the waste of such a young life and the pain of those who knew and loved her, but it's also a tragedy for all of us that we won't be hearing the exquisite music that she would have given us if fate had spared her life. I can't quite believe it. PLEASE PLEASE would her record company re-release her tenderest love song, 'Love is a Losing Game' soon. I seem to remember it getting lost in the chaos of Christmas releases a few years back. It would be HUGE now, and it's the way she should be remembered. As one of the greatest singer songwriters of all time. I hope she is at peace now."

Kelly Clarkson wrote a blog post in which she expressed her grief over the singer's passing, noting that while she was not friends with Winehouse, they had met on a handful of occasions. "She was a beautiful and talented girl. I'm angry. What a waste of a gifted person," Clarkson wrote. "What a shame she saw no hope and continued living her life in that manor [sic]. I have been that low emotionally and mentally and that is overwhelming. I keep asking myself why some of us are spared and the others are made examples."

Photos: Amy Winehouse Remembered

Over on Twitter, stars such Diddy, Nas, the Who, Best Coast, Q-Tip, Big Boi, Blink-182's Mark Hoppus, Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz, Talib Kweli and Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst offered a succinct, respectful "R.I.P." Other stars offered kind words to the people closest to Winehouse, such as Natasha Bedingfield, who tweeted "My heart and prayers go out to her family" and Janelle Monaé, who wrote "heart is heavy. My heart goes out 2 Amy Winehouse's family, loved ones. Praying for their strength during this time."

R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe paid tribute to Winehouse on his Tumblr by posting a photo taken by David Belisle of the singer hanging outside his dressing room at a show, noting that her death is a "power bummer."

Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins wrote that he mourns "any time one of our own passes on," and Paramore singer Hayley Williams said that Winehouse will "never truly be gone cause have you heard that voice?" Diplo also commented on her vocal talent, writing that "she had a voice like no one else in our generation." Electro-funk duo Chromeo similarly declared that Winehouse is "an icon of our generation."

In his column for the British newspaper The Sun, Blur bassist Alex James wrote that Winehouse's death was "sickeningly sad" and noted "it could have easily happened to me." James went on to say that "even though it was done quite lightheartedly, Blur were given a warning by our record company about not choking on our own vomit. Booze and drugs go hand in hand, not just with bands, but with young people too."

Rapper Rick Ross was upset that he never got a chance to record a song with Winehouse, while Matchbox 20 frontman Rob Thomas attacked some snarky responses on Twitter and elsewhere by writing "So many people saying that because it's not a surprise that Amy Winehouse passed, it's not sad. I hope you have more compassion for friends."

Former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach wrote a very sweet tweet directly to Winehouse, saying "Dear Amy W, it is a rough crazy business & there is nothing like being on stage. Once u feel that nothing else compares.Your pain is gone RIP." Rihanna also wrote a message to Winehouse, tweeting "U made a MAJAH impression on this industry and throughout the world, in such a short space of time...too short!"

Some artists were hit particularly hard by the bad news. Australian rocker Brody Dalle wrote a series of tweets in which she wrote that "I'm shocked even though i knew she wasn't long for this world," "it was obvious watching her last performance that she was in a seriously dark and fucked up place, she shouldn't have been on stage at all," and finally that "her death was inevitable."  Black Lips frontman Cole Alexander was also very rattled, writing "I'm seriously crying right now omg," "never knew the effect she had in me till she was gone" and "she was a living legend. Most legends you look back on and say that was legendary but she was a legend while living."

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