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The VMAs 2011: a breath of fresh air


NEWS
Filed by Sabine Ernest/August 29, 2011/23.21


MTV’s Video Music Awards generally serve as a ripe harvesting ground for comedians. Kanye’s outburst in 2009 comes to mind. But this year at the VMAs, the mood was a bit more sombre. In light of Amy Winehouse’s death in July, a moving tribute to the talented singer was paid.
   Tony Bennett returned to the VMA stage for the first time since 1993, a film clip of Tony and Amy working together on their duet, ‘Body and Soul’, showing the singer using her trade mark voice to sing what would be one of her last songs. Tony Bennett remarked on the late singer, ‘You can’t just be a jazz singer. Either you have it, or you don’t. And Amy had the whole gift.’
   Russell Brand, an old friend of Amy, forsook his callous humour, trading it in to honour his old ‘mate’ noting that she was someone, who while suffering both alcohol and drug addiction, also was someone with exceptional talent. Bruno Mars crooned out an Amy Winehouse cover of the Zuton’s ‘Valerie’, singing, ‘Amy, we’ll miss you baby,’ as an Andy Warhol-esque image of Amy crowned the stage screen.
   The event also had its celebratory and humorous moments. Beyoncé announced the long-anticipated news that she and rapper husband Jay-Z are expecting the couple’s first child while Lady Gaga donned a slightly awkward drag alter-ego, Jo Calderone, and tried to kiss Britney Spears à la Madonna back in 2003.
   Amy stole the spotlight however, her sultry jazz voice circulating in the head long after the show ended, underscoring the statement that the world lost a great talent with her death.—Sabine Ernest

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