NEW YORK — Singer Amy Winehouse’s father says it’s tough dealing with the loss of his daughter, but he’s happy she is having a helpful impact on the world through the foundation named after her.
"Even after a small space in time — we’re talking a year since Amy passed away — we are beginning, well, Amy is beginning, to have a positive effect on a lot of disadvantaged young people’s lives," Mitch Winehouse said in an interview Friday.
Amy Winehouse died on July 23, 2011 at her London home from accidental alcohol poisoning at age 27. The Amy Winehouse Foundation was launched last year in the United Kingdom and in April in the United States.
Mitch Winehouse says he expects Monday — the one-year anniversary of Amy’s death — to be difficult, but he will spend the day with family and friends. First they’ll go to Amy’s house for Jewish prayer and to be with the singer’s fans. Then close friends will head to a party at Jazz After Dark, which was "Amy’s favorite jazz bar."
"There are going to be lots of tears and lots of laughter and that is exactly how Amy would have wanted it," he said.
Amy Winehouse was one of music’s critically revered singers, praised for her touching lyrical content, soulful tone and authenticity. Her debut, "Frank," was a U.K. success, but her breakthrough came with 2007’s "Back to Black," a multiplatinum effort that won her five Grammy Awards. Mitch Winehouse says during that peak, "she was Adele and Lady Gaga rolled into one."
In the United Kingdom, the Winehouse family has raised more than $1 million and has assisted various charities. In America, the group is working with the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra to develop "after school music club houses" and feed hungry children throughout Louisiana.
The foundation has raised profits from donations and the release of the Amy’s posthumous album "Lioness: Hidden Treasures" and a book by Mitch Winehouse titled "Amy, My Daughter," released this summer.
"I don’t feel any accomplishment or any joy," Mitch Winehouse said of the book. "The reality is I shouldn’t have had to written the book in the first place."
"I wrote it fairly quickly after Amy passed away. I found writing it quite cathartic and I thought it would help me in my recovery, and to a certain extent it has," he continued. "But reading the book back for edits was very difficult indeed; more difficult than writing the book."
Mitch Winehouse also said there’s more Amy Winehouse music on the horizon: "We’re working with (music producers) Salaam Remi and Mark Ronson to see what they’ve got. But we have to be mindful; we don’t want to put anything out that could be damaging. It wouldn’t be right for Amy’s fans."
A film on his daughter’s life is also a possibility, he says.
"Whatever we do we have to make sure it’s done in good taste," he said. "We don’t want a sensationalized movie going out, you know, but equally there’s no point in sort of massaging the fact that Amy was a alcoholic and drug addict; no point in pretending that didn’t happen."
The first annual Amy Winehouse Inspiration Awards and Gala will take place Oct. 11 in New York and will honor Remi and Tony Bennett, with whom Amy Winehouse won a Grammy with this year.