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Bruno Mars, Russell Brand, Tony Bennett Pay Tribute to Amy Winehouse at the 2011 MTV VMAs

Bruno Mars
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Singer Bruno Mars, comedian/actor/Katy Perry‘s husband Russell Brand and crooner Tony Bennett came together for a three-tiered tribute to the late Amy Winehouse at the 2011 MTV VMAs.

Brand actually kicked off the tribute, embarking on a long, impassioned and extremely heartfelt rant about his friendship with Winehouse, whom he first met while both were residing in London. He even referred to her as the ordinary girl with the extraordinary hair, celebrating her enormous beehive as well as her smoky voice. But more importantly, Brand gushed about the ‘Rehab’ singer’s best personal qualities, which he experienced firsthand.

Bennett, who recorded the duet ‘Body and Soul‘ with Winehouse for his ‘Duets II‘ album, called her a “true jazz artist like Ella Fitzgerald,” and claimed that Winehouse possessed “the gift,” which you either have or you don’t. The singer then unveiled a clip of the two of them in the studio, putting their song to tape. Winehouse looked radiant, smiling and pouring her soul into the performance. It was a tender and touching moment and we’re glad that Bennett shared it.

After a black and white montage of Winehouse clips, Mars performed the Winehouse staple ‘Valerie’ while Andy Warhol-style pop art images of the singer flashed on the screen behind him. Mars pulled off the song’s old school harmonizing and even lead the crowd in a chorus of “Amy, we will miss you baby.”

It was a larger-than-life tribute — the only thing bigger than this celebration of Winehouse’s life and legacy would be the singer’s hair itself.

Watch Bruno Mars Perform ‘Valerie’ at the 2011 MTV VMAs

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