LOS ANGELES — Tony Bennett’s win was a reminder of loss for Mitch and Janis Winehouse.
The parents of late singer Amy Winehouse took to the stage with the legendary singer as he accepted his award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, earned for his performance with Winehouse on classic “Body and Soul.” The presentation came during the 54th annual Grammy Awards pre-telecast show, for honors not given during the Staples Center ceremony.
Bennett — a 16-time award winner — graciously handed the mic over to Mitch and Janis for the majority of the allotted speech time. From here, Mitch kept it together in accepting the award on his daughter’s behalf, with a little choke behind his voice.
“I can’t tell you what it was like. It was like lift-off. Tony’s collaboration meant so much to her,” he said, speaking of “Body and Soul.” “And she was so excited, because it was my favorite song. I said ‘Do you know the words, darlin’?’ She said ‘You’ve been singing that song to me for 25 years, of course I know the words.”
Mitch plugged the Amy Winehouse Foundation, which raises money for disadvantaged children, a note of positivity in a tough “deal.”
“We don’t deal these cards… we miss our daughter so much,” he said, eulogizing to “Amy, Whitney Houston, Etta James. There’s a great girl band up in heaven.”
It was poignant moment, a realization many have made since the stunning announcement last night that 48-year-old Houston was found dead at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Three generations of solo female soul singers, three distinct characters. Bennett has seen some of his collaborators and peers disappear in his day, and one could see it written on his face as Mitch and Janis left the stage.