*Amy Winehouse’s father has already said he feels Beyonce “brings nothing to” the cover of her song “Back to Black” for “The Great Gatsby” soundtrack. Now that the full song has officially been released, he’s gotten a chance to listen to Andre 3000′s part — and he’s not pleased with the rapper either.
“I just heard the Andre part of Back to Black. Terrible,” tweeted Mitch Winehouse today. “He should have let Beyonce do it all. Mitch.”
Meanwhile, Mark Ronson – who worked with Amy on the original version of the song – has been rather more accepting of the new rendition, with MTV reporting that he told his East Village Radio show “I’m flattered and honored. I know Amy would be too.”
*Beyonce and Andre 3000′s version of Amy Winehouse’s “Back To Black,” from the upcoming soundtrack to Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby” adaptation, hit the web yesterday after its debut on Mark Ronson’s EastVillageRadio show. Scroll down to listen.
The “Back To Black” cover is the latest track to be released from the Jay-Z-produced “Gatsby” soundtrack, which also features songs by Fergie feat. Q-Tip and Goonrock, Lana Del Rey, the xx and Florence and the Machine.
“Back To Black” originally appeared on Winehouse’s 2006 album of the same name, and was co-written and produced by Ronson. Upon hearing a snippet of the song from a new “Gatsby” trailer released last week, Winehouse’s dad Mitch Winehouse said Beyonce “doesn’t bring anything” to the song.
Listen to the full cover below and original below:
*Beyonce’s cover of Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black,” which features Andre 3000 and will appear on “The Great Gatsby” soundtrack, has caught the attention of the late singer’s father – who doesn’t seem all that impressed.
Mitch Winehouse took to Twitter to respond to apparent messages of discontent over the cover. He then suggested that Bey donate £100,000 (about $152,000) to the Amy Winehouse Foundation.
As previously reported Beyonce’s husband Jay-Z is the executive producer of the “Great Gatsby” soundtrack, and contributed an original song to the film. Others on the album include Lana Del Rey, the xx, Florence + The Machine, will.i.am, Fergie, Emile Sande, Jack White, Gotye, Sia, Nero, Coco O. of Quadron, Bryan Ferry, Q-Tip and GoonRock.
*Nas will take the stage at a special concert commemorating the 30th birthday of the late Amy Winehouse, her father Mitch Winehouse has revealed.
The rapper – who teamed with the late singer on his track “Cherry Wine,” will perform at the event to be held next September at The Roundhouse in Camden, north London, to raise money for The Amy Winehouse Foundation.
Mitch says Nas will be joined on the bill by a host of other big name artists and he is hoping that a statue of his daughter Amy will be ready to be unveiled at the venue on the same evening.
Speaking at the Spirit of London Awards at The O2 in London on Monday night (10.12.12), he told BANG Showbiz: ”From the start of next year we’re building up to Amy’s birthday on Sept. 14. We’re going to be holding a concert at The Roundhouse and we’re working on the line-up of performers now. Nas is definitely going to be performing because he wants to do as much as he can for the Foundation. It’s going to be a fantastic night, and will be a great tribute to her. And if it’s ready we’re going to be unveiling Amy’s statue.”
Mitch insists 2013 will be a busy year for the Foundation as in March the organization will be hosting the Amy Winehouse Inspiration Awards and Gala at which Tony Bennett, Nas ad Salaam Remi will be honored for their music and for helping to “inspire greatness in others.”
“Jennifer Hudson is going to be performing, Nas is going to be performing, it’s going to be great,” said Mitch.
The smoothed-out track, from Nas’ forthcoming album “Life Is Good,” was produced by Salaam Remi, who has put in work for both stars in the past. (He produced “Made You Look” for Nas and “Tears Dry on Their Own” for Winehouse).
Listen to “Cherry Wine” below.
The pair previously teamed for the single “Like Smoke,” which appeared on Winehouse’s posthumous compilation CD “Lioness: Hidden Treasures.”
Amy Winehouse’s father wants drug and alcohol awareness lessons added to the national curriculum in the United Kingdom, because he said there are ‘legal highs’ that can be dangerous. Judging from that statement alone Europe’s overwhelming amount of drug addiction, drug-related crimes and drug related deaths among young adults might be due to their ineffective approach. I’ve heard the stories about open recreational drug use there. Consequently their carefree attitude about this issue obviously has led to more experimentation in the UK than in the United States. But regardless of the location drug use or “experimentation” is a learned behavior that first should be taught and corrected by parents.
I’m sure we can agree that more knowledge about drugs and alcohol is better than less knowledge on the subject, and children constantly are learning through formal training and by observation. Still countless studies confirm that parents, more than anybody else, are the biggest influence on a child’s behavior. That includes their teachers and their peers. The trouble is some parents either don’t realize their power and defer to someone else or they have such poor parenting skills they expect somebody else to pick up the slack and do their jobs.
Yes, everybody has the gift of free will. So yes children test boundaries and make mistakes. But access to information is not the problem. Parents who refuse to act as role models for their children: That’s the problem. I don’t smoke because my mother didn’t smoke. And I don’t drink alcohol because my mother didn’t drink alcohol – at least not in front of me. ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ was not her constant refrain.
So when I hear stories such as the one about the 41-year-old husband and father of a teenage girl who left his wife and daughter to shack up with an 18-year old girl who – until a month ago – was a student in his class at a local Modesto high school that both girls still attend – it’s apparent that some people underestimate the value of role models in the lives of children.
James Hooker, the name of the sorry example of a father, husband and teacher, said he and the girl, who is only a few years older than his own daughter, wanted to “follow our hearts.” Nevermind the humiliation his daughter must face everyday at school. Nevermind the commitments made as a husband, father and role model for his students. What ever happened to honoring those commitments?
Mitch Winehouse has it all wrong. Whether or not drugs are illegal is not the issue. Their body and mind altering side effects: That’s the issue. Public schools have enough of a challenge teaching children the basic reading, writing and arithmetic. Teaching children how to behave starts in the cradle and there’s no better teacher for that than mom and dad.
Steffanie is a freelance journalist living in the Dallas, Texas metroplex. Send comments, questions and speaking requests to email@example.com.
*With sales of more than 5 million copies of her album “21,” Adele has reached yet another milestone, reports Reuters.
After earning untold critical acclaim and countless year-end records, the latest accomplishment for the British singer-songwriter is that her album, released by independent British label XL Recordings, has become the biggest selling album in seven years.
The last time an album topped the year-end chart with more than 5 million copies sold was in 2004, when Usher’s “Confessions” moved 7.9 million, according to Nielsen Soundscan, which supplied all sales data for this story.
Indeed, music sales overall are expected to end 2011 up more than 3 percent from last year. Not coincidentally, the last time overall music sales rose by so much was in 2004 as well.
The resurgence in sales is welcome news for the music industry. A meager 1 percent increase in digital sales last year created widespread panic that the format had already plateaued.
Nielsen analyst David Bakula attributed the rebound to a strong release slate, plus retailers getting more aggressive with pricing and promotions.
For instance, Lady Gaga’s album “Born This Way” was priced at 99 cents – less than one-tenth the price of most albums – in a special deal, helping drive sales beyond her core fans, he said.
To put Adele’s sales figures in context, the more than 3.5 million physical albums she sold this year would have been good enough to take the top spot in each of the last three years without even adding in digital sales. Album sales include LPs, compact discs and digital albums.
Figures for the year’s best-selling album declined every year from 2004 to 2008. They hit an all-time low in 2008 when Lil Wayne’s “Tha Carter III” took the top spot with sales of just 2.9 million, the first time an album claimed the best-seller title with sales of less than 3 million.
Since 2008, however, sales of the top-selling album of the year have increased, though not by much. Taylor Swift took the top spot in 2009, selling 3.2 million copies of “Fearless.” Eminem’s “Recovery” finished 2010 as the year’s best-seller with 3.4 million copies.
“Adele’s performance this year shows the demand for great original music,” Bakula said. “Here’s an artist that had moderate success before, but nothing of this magnitude, and she’s doing it all on two singles.”
Amy Winehouse’s death from alcohol poisoning in July also factored into Adele’s sales performance. Bakula said the attention Winehouse’s death received stoked interest among fans to sample other soulful, jazz-infused female British singer-songwriters, like Adele and Duffy. As a result, in addition to buying “21,” consumers dipped into Adele’s back catalog, making her prior release, “19,” one of the year’s top 25 best-sellers.
Still, Adele’s sales total is less than half of the more than 11 million copies that “No Strings Attached” from N’Sync sold in 2000. That year marked the last time the top spot featured an album that sold in excess of 10 million, underscoring the dramatic impact that legitimate digital distribution channels like Apple’s iTunes and illegal file-sharing sites such as Limewire have had on the music industry.
Below, Adele’s latest single “Set Fire to the Rain.”
Chaka Khan (l) and Mary J. Blige perform during "VH1 Divas Celebrate Soul"
*VH1 may have honored singing divas at its annual ‘VH1 Divas” special, but the night was all about collaboration, reports Billboard. 50 Cent was hand-in-hand with Chaka Khan on the red carpet; Mavis Staples screamed her love for Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine and Ledisi gushed over meeting Martha Reeves.
“It’s exciting. You see me, I’m standing next to the fire,” 50 Cent said, while Khan laughed.
Chaka Khan and her date 50 Cent
The rapper said he called the veteran singer and told her he wanted to be her date. He said he and Khan are working together on music and movie projects. ”Hopefully we’ll be able to put together some movie things because her life story is epic,” he said. “I want to be a part of it.”
Khan added that 50 Cent is “savvy” and she’s excited to learn from the younger generation. “(He) knows the ropes in a way I don’t, in a way I’m looking to. He’ll be giving me a lot of direction in the future,” she said.
Another unconventional pair was Welch and Staples, who told the London singer “I just love you so much.”
“I saw you the other night on ‘X Factor.’ I saw you. I said there she go that machine!” Staples said, laughing along with Welch.
Inside the event, there were more pairings, from Mary J. Blige, Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson to Khan, Staples, Jessie J and Erykah Badu. Other performers included Jill Scott, Boyz II Men, Marsha Ambrosius and Estelle.
Erykah Badu and Jill Scott perform onstage during VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul
Estelle,Erykah Badu and Marsha Ambrosius backstage at Hammerstein Ballroom
Boyz II Men
The “VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul” special, which aired Monday, honored cities where soul music has thrived, like Philadelphia, Detroit, Memphis, Chicago and London.
Welch joined Nas, Wanda Jackson and Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings to pay tribute to the late Amy Winehouse, culminating with Welch’s stirring performance of Winehouse’s “Back to Black.”
Nas speaks onstage during VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul
“It didn’t matter where she was from or what color her skin was, because Amy Winehouse was my true soul sister,” Nas said in the concert special. “I’m here to honor a woman who had enough soul to last a lifetime.”
View more red carpet pics below.
Jill Scott attend the VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City (Dec 19, 2011)
*After releasing her second LP “21” just ten months ago, Adele’s chart-topper has just become the biggest-selling album of the century – dethroning the late Amy Winehouse’s “Back To Black,” which landed the record a little over three months ago.
The new record of 3.4 million sales was confirmed today by the Official Charts Company, reports the AP.
Winehouse’s album took five years to get to its present 3.3 million sales level, and its success was partly due to the further sales boost following her death in July.
Adele’s “21” has not left the top 10 since its release and has been on the chart for 45 weeks. The album was given a further push in the wake of six Grammy nominations last week, including album of the year.
In a message posted on her blog over the weekend, the singer – who had an operation on her voice last month – said she was ”lost for words” at the Grammy recognition.
”A couple days after finally being able to talk again I’m pretty speechless,” she said. ”This has been the best year as it is but to end 2011 with this incredible achievement and honor is beyond anything I can express.”
Thanking fans, she added: ”This record has taken on a life of its own thanks to you. I made the record and you’ve made it what’s it’s become.”
One of the early release songs, “Like Smoke,” is a dynamic collaboration with Nas, originally recorded in 2008 by Salaam Remi. The track (listen to it below) actually hit the airwaves Wednesday night on New York’s Hot 97 radio.
The singer’s lyrics were actually recorded a while back but Nas got in the studio recently as a eulogy for the songstress and references the current Occupy Wall Street protests.
Another, “Our Day Will Come,” a reggae composition inspired by a 1960s hit by Ruby and the Romantics, was featured on BBC’s Radio 1 on Wednesday as well.
The album consists of 12 tracks selected by longtime music producers Remi and Mark Ronson and the singer’s family.
*Results of an inquest into Amy Winehouse’s death reveal that the Grammy winner died from alcohol poisoning, a London coroner said Wednesday.
Coroner Suzanne Greenaway tells the Associated Press the verdict has been ruled “death by misadventure” because Winehouse voluntarily consumed alcohol and took on the consequences of her actions.
A pathologist’s report found that Winehouse had consumed a “very large quantity of alcohol,” and was more than five times the legal limit when she died. The singer’s body was discovered at her North London home on July 23. She was 27.
Sitting at St. Pancras Coroner’s Court in London, Greenway said of Winehouse: “She had consumed sufficient alcohol at 416 mg per decilitre of blood and the unintended consequences of such potentially fatal levels was her sudden and unexpected death.”
The British legal limit for driving under the influence of alcohol is 80mg. The singer’s weight loss, tiny frame and bronchial problems are also likely to have increased her exposure to the effects of alcohol on her system. The hearing was told that she had not consumed any alcohol in the three-weeks leading to her death.
An earlier toxicology report published in August had found that there were no illegal drugs in her system, despite press reports claiming she had been out the night before her death buying drugs in North London.
The inquest also heard that live-in security guard Andrew Morris had checked on the star on the morning of the July 23rd and thought she was in bed sleeping. He called the emergency services when he checked on her five hours later and found she had not moved. Empty vodka bottles were found at the scene.
*Fans are still mourning the sudden death of singer Amy Winehouse. And to help everyone cope and remember the young star, her father is releasing the singer’s memoir.
Mitch Winehouse is working with Harper Collins to publish the book titled, “Amy, My Daughter,” which will debut in 2012.
“I feel that I need to write this book to tell the true story of Amy and to help with my personal recovery,” her father explained. “I also want to raise as much money as possible for Amy’s foundation, so all proceeds from the book will go directly to help children who are disadvantaged through illness and substance addiction.”
Amy Winehouse passed away in July at the age of 27. She was found dead in her London home. The cause of death is still unknown.
*Amy Winehouse’s father says he believes she died after suffering a seizure related to alcohol detoxification and “there was nobody there to rescue her.”
The soul diva, who had fought drug and alcohol problems for years, was found dead in bed at her London home on July 23. Her family says toxicology reports indicated there was alcohol in her bloodstream but it was unclear whether this had contributed to her death at age 27.
Mitch Winehouse said Friday during a taping of Anderson Cooper’s new syndicated talk show that traces of the prescription drug Librium, which is used to fight anxiety and withdrawal symptoms of alcoholism, were found in her body.
“Everything Amy did, she did to excess,” he said on the show, which is to air as Cooper’s debut Monday. “She drank to excess and did detox to excess.”