Amy Winehouse gives a good performance at Mandela concert


It was assumed that Amy Winehouse wouldn’t make it to the big charity concert in London last night in honor of Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday. She was hospitalized for a chest infection last week that even major news outlets were speculating was “crack lung.” Her own dad said she needed to quit smoking drugs, and claimed she was in the beginning stages of emphysema, which her rep later denied. Amy failed to show up at a photocall in advance of the concert but was seen out that day buying booze, so it was thought she would skip the show and get drunk and high instead.

Whatever happened to Amy, she did show up to perform last night. She looked together, she can still belt out a tune and her voice doesn’t seem to have been affected by her medical issues.

Amy fiddled with her skirt while she performed and she looked like she was stumbling once or twice in her big heels, but her voice was powerful and she seemed in control of her faculties. She walked right down to the crowd at one point and she sure brought it. Amy performed “Rehab” and “Valerie” for the estimated 40,000-strong crowd.

Other performers last night included Queen, Razorlight, Leona Lewis, Josh Groban, Sugababes, Johnny Clegg and Annie Lennox. Proceeds went to benefit Mandela’s 46664 AIDS charity. The former South African president turns 90 on July 18 and gave a brief but moving speech to the crowd. He said:

“Where there is poverty and sickness including AIDS, where human beings are being oppressed, there is more work to be done.

“Our work is for freedom for all.

“We say tonight after nearly 90 years of life, it is time for new hands to lift the burdens. It is in your hands now.” [From AP via Huffington Post]

Here are some more videos from the night:

Bono and The Edge sing happy birthday remotely:

Nelson Mandela’s speech

And a concert-goers video of Will Smith rapping with Jada. He does “Fresh Prince of Bel Air.” Man I can’t hate on this guy.

Thanks to WENN for these photos from the show last night. Also shown are Leona Lewis, Emcee Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, Nelson Mandela and Graca Machel Mandela, Sugababes, Geri Halliwell, Jamelia, Quincy Jones, Annie Lennox, and Prince William’s girlfriend Kate Middleton.

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41 Responses to “Amy Winehouse gives a good performance at Mandela concert”

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  1. vdantev says:

    AKA She was only a little stoned/drunk out of her gourd.

  2. geronimo says:

    She did just fine, and the crowd loved her.
    But she did say something truly terrible in a interviewette with Fern Cotton before the concert which I’ve since tried to block out of my mind. Fern said something along the lines of it’s such a fab reason (Mandela’s birthday) for a celebration and Amy said, “Yeah, and Blake’s out in two weeks as well, so it’s a double celebration.” Two terrible things: that Blake might be out in two weeks and that Amy sees this as something to celebrate. Not good. 8O 8O

  3. Shannon says:

    I thought she sucked!

    Personally, I’ve never saw the public fascination to begin with. She sounds like the white girl’s Mary J. Blige…but not that good.

  4. Mo2 says:

    It wasn’t one of Amy’s better performances bu her backup guys sure got it going on. They should go on as a solo act. I could watch them forever. Do you really think Nelson would have choose the music they played at his bash?

  5. Syko says:

    I’m just glad she didn’t show disrespect for Mandela by blowing the whole thing. She even appears to be dressed halfway decently.

    Blake out in two weeks? Gaaaaaahhhh!

  6. Anna says:

    Are you kidding me? Ok, she slurred just a tiny little bit less than at past druken and stoned performances she gave, but it was still awful. The crowd didn’t boo her just because it wouldn’t have been very nice to boo anyone at a concert for Nelson Mandela. She was stumbling, eating her words and that constant fidgeting with her skirt looked like she needed a wee all along. Her voice is completely changed by all the drugs she’s been doing. It was loud but not powerful or particularly pleasant. The difference between that hazy voice yesterday and former, good Amy Winehouse concerts was blatant.
    And I know, I know, I KNOW that Rehab is her (effing stupid) biggest hit, but really, did she have to sing that? It’s just pathetically embarassing at this point with not an ounce of self-deprecating irony left.

  7. geronimo says:

    No, she wasn’t anything like her old performances, she’s had a year that would have killed most people, and yes, her voice is distinctly weaker, but she turned up and performed much better that most people had expected so I’m giving her credit for that. Although I do agree with you on the choice on song – irony-bypass there.

  8. Kay says:

    Well at least she isn’t covered in scratch marks and scabs.

  9. Anna says:

    Kay: it’s called stage make-up :) that stuff will cover anything, trust me, I’ve done make-up for theatre productions.

  10. gg says:

    Okay, that is CRAP. Suck performance. Just because it’s marginally more coherent than her other crack-fuelled performances does NOT make it good.

    How is it you buy a bottle of fake tan and then suddenly you “look healthy and tanned” and everybody assumes you’re all better? feh.

    Especially after reading the Rolling Stone article about how she did drugs the entire time she was in rehab; never stopped. :?

  11. xxx says:

    She wasn’t that good, the back up band saved her.

  12. Shonagh says:

    Her first performance of “Rehab” was pretty bad indeed, but yeah her backing guys are awesome :) Her second performance at the finale was better but….only slightly.

  13. Lily says:

    I was actually at the concert, and though the song choice was unfortunate, most people were impressed that Amy made it at all, and her performance was passable. She was visibly nervous, but looked so much healthier–it wasn’t just a tan, she had definitely gained some weight (they must have been force-feeding her at the hospital). She seemed happy to be performing again, too. Just what she sees in Blake Incarcerated, I’m sure I don’t know, but she really does seem to have been worse while he’s been in jail, so maybe the idea isn’t to keep them apart, but to get them both to grow up.

  14. geronimo says:

    THANK you, Lily! That’s exactly what I saw on tv. And she looked way better that recent pics have shown, particularly up-close when she was interviewed.

  15. elisha says:

    She’s got that stupid Blake heart in her hair.

  16. Alise says:

    I don’t understand why she was performing in the first place. What about the video that came out recently with her making those racist comments? I mean come on, somebody in her camp was really trying to prove something by having her perform for Mandela. Also on some other blogs it was reported that Mandela did not want Naomi Cambell to attend the event. But he wanted Amy, doesn’t make sense.

  17. Alise says:

    LOL…Shannon I agree with you. Never would have thought of that comparison, but it’s so true! At least Mary J cleaned herself up and is at peace with herself.

  18. C says:

    Alise:
    “I don’t understand why she was performing in the first place. What about the video that came out recently with her making those racist comments? I mean come on, somebody in her camp was really trying to prove something by having her perform for Mandela. Also on some other blogs it was reported that Mandela did not want Naomi Cambell to attend the event. But he wanted Amy, doesn’t make sense”

    AMEN! This is what I’ve thought all along about this.

  19. Amy says:

    Didn’t this idiot make a plea on stage for her Blake to be freed? Where is the outrage? Mandela is a hero for being a political prisoner and she has the gall to use his birthday to plea for her deadbeat and GUILTY husband to be freed?!

    WTF?!

  20. devilgirl says:

    Given the fact that the woman is a walking poster child for death, she didn’t do badly. The horror of it, is if in her current condition she can perform half way decent, imagine the range of her talent if she would get the proper help and committ to sobriety. I know many feel that she is a waste and a disgrace, but personally, I think she has an amazing voice. I think if anyone has read the Rolling Stone article, one woould see what a sad state she is in. At least, no matter the reasons behind it, she doesn’t profess to being anything other than what she is. Unlike many celebrities out there that feed their dirty little habits in secret and publicly portray themselves as angels, she at least has the guts enough to let people see her how she really is, and offers no excuses or apologies. It’s sad that she doesn’t think more of herself, her talents and her influence on the youth around her to get herself clean.

  21. bc says:

    i thought the performance was fine. she always slurs, that’s nothing new. thank god she showed up and gave a good performance. *whew*

  22. paris herpes says:

    It was decent, Valerie was well done. Rehab shouldn’t have been sung, poor timing with that selection. I rather see her perform for smaller groups though or by herself like on You Tube. She actually sounds more natural and ten times less nervous. She really can’t handle the pressure of singing or being at large events, that’s why she gets so stoned and drunk before a performance but that ends up not relaxing her as much as she likes to think.

  23. SallySitwell says:

    I don’t think she was awful in this (clothes? check. showed up? check. knew the lyrics? check. 5 star performance, Amos!) but her eyes seemed dead, like she was on tranquilizers (which…well…probably). Reminded me of one of those kids whose stage parents make them perform even though the kid hates it.

  24. Rianna says:

    when people say that “at least she turned up” you know you are in a terrible spot as a performer.
    her voice was absolutely crap. yeah she turned up… so did all the other artists and they didnt get stoned or high or whatever the hell she was on. it is no excuse.

  25. jinx says:

    Yeah, she got through 3 songs, and was able to breath just fine!

    Jesus. I will never believe a thing about this slag. It’s all just some weird PR for her career.

  26. Leah says:

    My best friend is black, and he was laughing his ass off at Amy’s racist tune. Now he’s trying to find a way to fit Jews into the song so I won’t feel left out!

    Speaking of Jews, I didn’t realize until recently that Amy is one of us (nominally, anyway). Ah, to spend the High Holidays with Amy Winehouse: “Hey, is Tanqueray kosher?” “That’s not a bong, it’s a shofar!” “Dammit Amy, the Torah scroll is not a giant rolling paper!”

  27. gg says:

    Bingo, SallySitwell. Very good points I think. Singing Rehab for the 1,243,579 time was a mistake. She is so clearly sick and tired of singing this song she just phones it in, and it has sounded bad for a long time now.

    With regard to geronimo #1, Amy’s insinuating anybody else was celebrating Blake Intoxicated’s release is insulting not only to Mandela, but I’m guessing pretty much everybody out there.

    So she showed up and maybe she knew the words — well, that is quite an improvement. But it doesn’t make a good performance. I told my husband, I bet we could randomly pick out any of her fans that knew the words and do better than I’ve seen her do in the past year or 2, courtesy of Blake Imbecilic.

    I totally agree that equating Mandela’s long imprisonment and freedom with her idiot husband being let back into society with his drunken flailing fists in quite poor taste. I do appreciate her honesty, but the girl is so very delusional, tacit acceptance of her slipups (or major fuckups) by people involved in her life isn’t doing her any favors. One just waits for an epiphany to strike the girl to fucking wake up and smell the coffee before she kills herself. No magic bullets here unfortunately. She’s already spent everyone’s efforts. In my opinion, prayer is the only thing that will save her.

  28. windancr says:

    what an amazing voice and talent. i’m from the stones, morrison era and she just has IT. what a wonder. I am really, really hoping she finds her way. amazing voice, what a gift.

  29. Carrie says:

    This does NOT qualify as a “good” performance imho, not compared with what she is capable of vocally.

    And she was even worse at Glastonbury. Someone there said it was just embarassing and uncomfortable for people watching. So when will people wise up and stop paying her money to show up and be terrible?

  30. Amy Winehouse gave a poor performance at Glastonbury after a good show for Mandella.
    She should now go off and make a great new album and focus on her health.

  31. geronimo says:

    Sadly, got to agree re Glastonbury. She was dire and incomprehensible and embarrassing to watch. Blabbing on about My Blakey, clueless as to how badly that was likely to go down. She’s no longer fit to be performing and is in danger of losing any residual respect for her and her ever-decreasing talent. Needs to go away now and ONLY come back when she can put on a performance that’s worthy of people shelling out money for.

    I feel really sorry for her band – so fine – it’s their livelihood as well and probably the reason why her management keep getting her bookings (no Amy, no band) when they should, at this stage, be washing their hands of her. I think she’s finally cashed in all her sympathy coupons.

  32. Mandy says:

    :lol: LMAO @ Leah! You’re going straight to Hell for that one! And you’re welcome to attend a BBQ at my place anytime. It’s a villa on the shores of the Lake of Fire!

  33. Suuuuuuuue says:

    Luv-her…..She’s different.You can’t tell the difference with all the blonde-hair extensioned-big boob crowd. I just hope she doesn’t succumb to her personal devils-be it Blake or crack.

  34. xiaoecho says:

    Amy at Glastonbury was mortifying to watch – on a par with Elvis’ last performances or Judy Garlands last barbituate filled couple of years. She seemed to not give a shit how she sounded; as if to her turning up was enough. Watching her effort at Glastonbury 2007, she was a million times better – and people were grousing that her performances had gone down hill even then – it’s sad that she’s been so low that the mere fact that she can stay on her feet is hailed as a truimph :(

    loved her hair

  35. alex says:

    I watched the full concert on Friday. Amy did amazing, and the crowd cheered because of that(because, Anna, they did boo Victoria Beckham at a Nelson Madela concert). She has gained some weight (a good thing, not bad) and got a tan (Rolling Stone says it was a tanning booth in her home). She sang great, and appeared to be sober … I am very proud, as I am a huge fan, and was very concerned. Oh, and to Mo2, her backups are Zalon, and Ade. And Zalon does have a solo act.

  36. AC says:

    I have to disagree… this isn’t that great. but im only half way through rehab but its a little painful.

  37. AC says:

    second song is better

  38. Rose says:

    She was absolutely awful, the girl cannot sing live. And her jerky awkward dancing is worse.

  39. Frenchie says:

    The back up boys are more motivated than the wineghouse herself. I didn’t like the performance : bad singing, terrible playing with the dress and she seemed panicked or somewhere else.
    I can’t find her any excuse because we are all supposed to be professionnals in our jobs, no regards to our personnal life

  40. Mims says:

    I cannot believe that this disaster was asked and further allowed to perform. Between flashing her shorts and butchering the finale, I was ready to wring her skinny neck (not much effort required for that task).

    If Mandela did indeed ban Naomi campbell, how did this calamity make it through?

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