The Amy Winehouse Foundation's Amy Winehouse Inspiration Awards & Gala will be held tonight, March 21, in New York City at the famed Waldorf Astoria.
Featured to perform will be Grammy Award winning artist Jennifer Hudson. The red carpeted, black- tie cocktail and dinner event will feature more soon to be announced star studded musical guest performances as well as celebrity guests to present special honorees with an Amy Winehouse Foundation (AWF) Inspiration Award for their work in helping to inspire greatness in others. The event, originally slated for October 2012, was moved to the new date due to transatlantic scheduling conflicts.
Among this year’s awards will be The AWF Inspiration Award for Lifetime Achievement presented to the Grammy award -winning singer and legendary entertainer Tony Bennett. In addition to his many philanthropic endeavors as well as his impact on music history, Mr. Bennett was someone that Ms. Winehouse deeply admired and had the opportunity to record with before her tragic passing. That collaboration, “Body & Soul”, was on Mr. Bennett’s album Duets II and won the Grammy this past year for “Best Pop Duo/Group Performance”. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the single has gone to the Amy Winehouse Foundation in support of music programs.
The AWF Inspiration Award for a New Generation will be presented to the Emmy and Grammy Award winning artist Nas. NAS was first introduced to Amy’s music in 2004 through their respective producer SaLaAM ReMI and the two became instant friends. “She was really inspired by him,” says ReMI, who produced the Amy/NAS collaboration “Like Smoke” from the Amy Winehouse Lioness: Hidden Treasures album and their collaboration “Cherry Wine” from NAS’ new critically acclaimed Life is Good album. Not only did the two share a similarity on the way they approached music but they shared the same birthday (September 14th). “Amy was an amazing talent and a special artist. She was like a little sister to me,” says NAS, “I’m happy to be involved with a foundation that not only keeps her memory alive but helps support those things she cared most about- kids and music.”
SaLaAM ReMi, the Grammy nominated producer and Executive Vice President, A&R and Production, Sony Music Entertainment, will be presented The AWF Inspiration Award for Visionary Leadership. ReMi worked with Ms. Winehouse on all her award winning albums including Frank and Back to Black as well as co-producing the posthumously released Amy Winehouse Lioness: Hidden Treasures . His illustrious career , including his significant philanthropic work and creative vision, has significantly impacted or developed the careers of other genre defining artists including NAS, Alicia Keys and Lauryn Hill to name a few. Just this year he has been nominated for a Grammy in the prestigious Producer of the Year (non- classical) category. Amy loved his passion and respected his genius and thought of SaLaAM as family.
Elhadj “Moe” Kane, chairman of Amon Holdings, CEO of FAM GROUP, managing director at CRC Sovereign, and general director at GCA, acting CEO at MGK capital and Vice-Chairman of GIVEECOENERGY will receive The AWF Inspiration Award for Helping Build a Better World. Mr. Kane’s focus on renewable energy solutions to power the world on into the future as well as co-founding the humanitarian consortium FEWS (Food Electricity Water and Shelter for all) make him the perfect recipient for this award.
“These four men,” says Amy’s father Mitch Winehouse, “are extraordinarily talented individuals who have inspired greatness in others. It is only fitting that they are among the first Amy Winehouse Foundation Honorees.”
The Amy Winehouse Inspiration Awards and Gala will be the first of what Mitch Winehouse and Janis Winehouse Collins, Amy’s father and mother, plan to be an annual event to raise awareness and resources for the Amy Winehouse Foundation in the US. All monies raised in the US, including from this event will go to US programs.
Launched in the US at Joe’s Pub in NYC on April 11, 2012, the mission of the Amy Winehouse Foundation -US is supporting and empowering children and young adults in need through music therapy and music education and works to prevent the effects of drug and alcohol misuse on young people. The Foundation aims to support, inform and inspire vulnerable and disadvantaged young people to help them reach their full potential. Among the US Foundation’s first missions is to assist the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO), in supporting after school music programs for children in those districts still struggling from the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina and to work with the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) .
The Amy Winehouse Foundation was formally established in the UK in 2011 by Amy’s family in honor of her memory and in keeping with her passion of wanting to help children in need. To date, the UK Foundation has allocated over £500,000 to various organizations.