The New York rapper, who worked with Winehouse before her passing last year, will be honored with an Amy Winehouse Inspiration Award, given to those whose work helped “inspire greatness in others.” Also being awarded are two other Winehouse collaborators, frequent producer Salaam Remi and Tony Bennett, who sang “Body & Soul” with Winehouse on his album Duets II and donated a portion of proceeds to the Amy Winehouse Foundation.
“Amy was an amazing talent and a special artist,” said Nas. “She was like a little sister to me. I’m happy to be involved with a foundation that not only keeps her memory alive but helps support those things she cared most about – kids and music.”
It was in fact Remi who introduced Nas to Winehouse back in 2004 and helped produce a cut they did together, “Like Smoke.” Another collaboration, “Cherry Wine,” appears on Nas’s most recent record, Life Is Good.
“She was really inspired by him,” Remi said of Winehouse’s relationship with Nas.
The event is being put on by the Amy Winehouse Foundation, which launched its U.S. branch back in April. While the foundation has already raised a million pounds for children’s hospices in the U.K., its goal Stateside is to support music therapy and after-school programs for disadvantaged children, like those in districts in New Orleans still struggling from the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina.
“We feel that if you put a musical instrument in somebody’s hand, they’re never going to put a gun in their hands,” said Amy’s father, Mitch Winehouse, at the launch.