What was Amy Winehouse's last song?
14 September 2020, 18:56
Amy died just three weeks shy of her 28th birthday. But what was the last song she completed during her lifetime?
The story of Amy Winehouse is well-known by now, but it still remains tragic. The London-born singer was troubled by health and addiction issues in her short life, which came to a sad end on 23 July 2011. She was just 27 years old.
Amy released her second and final album, Back To Black, in 2006, but never followed it up. She was working on her third full length outing when she died - so what was the final song she actually recorded?
In July of 2010, Winehouse told the Metro that “The album will be [released in] six months at the most. It’s going to be very much the same as my second album, where there’s a lot of jukebox stuff and songs that are… just jukebox, really.”
However, January 2011 came and went with no new Amy Winehouse album. Producer Salaam Remi, who had been working with the singer since 2008, claimed that only two songs were ever completed.
One song was called Between The Cheats, which was thought to be dedicated to her husband Blake Fielder-Civil, opening with the line "I would die before I divorce you".
The other song was called Like Smoke, which featured her friend, the New York rapper Nas. However, he recorded his part after Amy's death, which includes the heartbreaking lines: "I be out in London, Camden / Huntin’ for the answers, why did God take away the homie?"
"It’s a bittersweet feeling to do something with her now that she’s not here,” Nas revealed after Like Smoke - along with Between The Cheats - was released posthumously on the collection Lioness: Hidden Treasures.
This compilation was released on 2 December 2011, and featured a selection of unreleased material from the singer's entire career. It also included was what proved to be the final recording by Amy Winehouse.
Body And Soul was a duet with the legendary singer Tony Bennett, that was recorded in March 2011 at London's Abbey Road studios. A jazz standard, recording with one of her musical idols was a high point of Amy's career.
But in his autobiography Just Getting Started, Bennett regrets not discussing the problem of addiction with Winehouse.
“Would it have made a difference if someone she considered an idol had said to her something like, ‘You’re my idol. You are a once-in-a-lifetime talent. Please don’t take that from the world'?" he wrote.
But Tony Bennett had fond memories of recording with Amy. He wrote: "Amy was engaging, funny, charming, and utterly professional but a little bit shy. She said she was nervous because she had never recorded a song with someone she considered to be one of her idols.”
“She had the voice of an angel: a being that works on a plane higher than the one most of us inhabit down here.”
It was to be Amy Winehouse's final recording - Body And Soul was released as a single on what would have been her 28th birthday: 14 September 2011.
"The fact that she died at 27 years old is just horrible to me," Bennett later told Entertainment Weekly, when the track appeared on his album Duets II. "If she had lived, she would’ve been right up there with Billie Holiday and Dinah Washington. It’s just a tragedy.”