When Amy Winehouse died on year ago, the music community immediately began to mourn one of the most unique voices the industry has ever heard. Soulful and full of vintage, beehived bravado, Winehouse played by her own rules, all the way up until July 23, 2011.
Shortly after her death, the tributes from those closest to her began pouring in. It kicked off with her longtime pal and collaborator Mark Ronson remembering his friend by performing their song, “Valerie.” During the performance, four days after her death, he shared, “She is my sister, wherever she is.”
The following month, Coldplay mashed up her star-making “Rehab” with their aptly titled track, “Fix You.” Weeks later, George Michael remembered the star at his show in Prague. He played her song “Love Is a Losing Game.” But, before he sang it, he shared, “In 30 years of making music, I was never actually in awe of anybody new that came along on the British scene until this lady arrived.”
At the 2012 MTV VMAs, Russell Brand recalled his friendship with the troubled singer, showing a lot of heart, as he remembered the brazen Brit. "This is not just another London chancer, not just another person milling about waiting to be famous," he said during the show. "What is this incredible sound? This timeless sound like a roar from the guts of humanity? The kind of voice that Billie Holiday sung with, the kind of voice that Ella Fitzgerald sung with."
Bruno Mars then lifted the mood a bit with his triumphant cover of "Valerie.” That same night, footage from her collaboration with Tony Bennett also aired. It featured the pair in the studio recording their duet, “Body and Soul.”
Arguably one of the greatest vocal heirs to the legacy that Winehouse had carved out belongs to Adele, who rose to fame shortly after the late singer. She paid homage to her in September, on what would have been her 28th birthday. “This is for Amy Winehouse, whose birthday it is today,” she told the room before performing Bob Dylan’s “To Make You Feel My Love.”
In December, “VH1 Divas” remembered Amy with some of those closest to her recalling the times they spent with the songstress. Nas said, “Amy Winehouse was my true soul sister,” before adding, "I'm here to honor a woman who had enough soul to last a lifetime.” (Nas worked with Amy on his tracks “Like Smoke” and "Cherry Wine" from his new album Life is Good.)
The stage was then stormed by the likes of Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings (the latter of whom worked with her on her Back to Black album), Florence Welch and Wanda Jackson. The medley included her soul-killing breakup track "Back to Black" and her sassy anthem, "You Know I'm No Good."
This year, been-there-done-that music legend Patti Smith remembered Amy on the track “This Is The Girl,” off her June release, Banga. “I was actually amazed when I first heard [Winehouse] sing because she sings the songs of my generation with such authenticity,” she told “Nightline.” “For me, [Winehouse's death] was a real loss of a human being.”