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Amy Winehouse Foundation Awards Gala Draws Tony Bennett, Nas + Mark Ronson

Amy Winehouse
Gareth Davies, Getty Images

We’re coming up on two years since Amy Winehouse‘s death — she passed away on July 23, 2011, at the tender age of 27 — but a special gala was held in the British soul singer’s memory last night (March 21) at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.

Winehouse’s parents, Janis and Mitch, hosted the first Amy Winehouse Foundation Inspiration Awards and Gala to help raise money and awareness for the AWF, which was set up posthumously by her bereft father and designed to help those with addiction issues like the singer suffered from.

Tony Bennett, who dueted with Winehouse on ‘Body and Soul,’ took the stage and sang classics ‘Maybe This Time’ and ‘Watch What Happens.’ He also warmly recalled Winehouse, saying, “Her dream was to become famous and a beautiful singer, and she accomplished that.”

He was quick to point out that her death from alcohol poisoning does not erase her success or the impact she left as an artist.

“Even though she had a short life, she had a great life because she ended up praying for the success that she wanted, and it happened,” the crooner said. “This is what this night’s about.”

Belter Jennifer Hudson also performed three songs, and awards were given out to foundation honorees. Other attendees included Sean Lennon; rapper Nas, who recorded ‘Cherry Wine’ with the singer; and producer Mark Ronson, who worked with Winehouse on her jukeboxy breakthrough ‘Back to Black.’

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