Amy Winehouse's father, Mitch, hails daughter as a 'great human being'


The father of Amy Winehouse has paid tribute to his daughter as a "wonderful singer" and a "great human being" as he attended a star-studded gala for her foundation.

Producer and singer Mark Ronson, who has been named patron of the Amy Winehouse Foundation, and Barbara Windsor were also among the celebrities who attended the glittering event.

Speaking on the red carpet at The Savoy hotel in central London, Mitch Winehouse said he hoped the charity would form part of his daughter's legacy.

He said: "I hope this is her legacy - obviously her music legacy will look after itself. She was a wonderful singer and a great song writer as well as being a great human being."

The foundation works to combat drug and alcohol abuse among young people.

Amy died in 2011 aged just 27 after a long-publicised battle with drink and drugs.

Asked what he thought Amy would think of the charity set up in her name, he joked: "If she wasn't pleased with what we were doing there would be a smoking crater here with a lightning bolt."

And he told of the "deep friendship" his daughter had with her long-time friend and collaborator Ronson.

Mr Winehouse told The Press Association: "Mark Ronson and Amy made musical history - and their relationship was a deep and loving relationship.

"I don't know how they ever managed to get any work done because they were just laughing the whole time.

"That's what people just don't understand, they saw that film that came out a few months ago - which to me is abhorrent anyway - there is no sense of the fun of Amy. That was how she got through her problems - by laughing."

Mr Winehouse hit out at the recent film Amy, directed by Asif Kapadia, which he said overlooked his daughter's great sense of humour and the generous work she did.

He said: "We had to see it unfortunately. It was not good, but we move on. We can't dwell too much on it because we have work to do.

"That film, they think Amy died in July 2011 which is true. But it might sound like a cliche, but she comes to work with us every day. That's what we have got to concentrate."

And he appeared to confirm rumours that he is planning to put together his own film about Amy's life.

He said: "It is not going to be a revenge attack on Asif Kapadia, we are looking to do something positive and to talk about some of the positive things in Amy's life - like the foundation, all of Amy's wonderful friends who were ignored in the film, and the other creative work Amy did.

"There are so many great things in Amy's life that were missed in that film. It was a great opportunity that Asif Kapadia had and he didn't grab it.

"Everyone had heard that rubbish. Let's hear something new about Amy, and this is what this is about - creativity and positivity."

Hip hop legend Nas and producer Salaam Remi, who were also friends and collaborators of Amy, have also been named as patrons of the foundation.

While singers Ella Henderson and Jess Glynne have also been named as ambassadors for the charity.

Ronson will perform with Amy's band at the gala and an auction will be held to raise money for the charity.

Mr Winehouse said the Government is failing to provide the help and support many children and young people need, so they are turning to charities such as the Amy Winehouse Foundation.

But he warned that it is a battle for charities to raise the funds they desperately need - and said it would be easier to raise cash for a cat or donkey sanctuary than for young people battling addiction.

He said: "Young people are presenting themselves with a whole host of problems and where do you start? We are doing a lot of work that the Government and local authorities should be doing. But in a lot of cases it is not there.

"Amy loved cats. It would have been easier for us to raise shed loads of money and open up a cat charity or a donkey charity, we wouldn't have any problem raising money.

"You try to raise money for homeless young people or people suffering from drug addiction or alcohol, still the prevailing thought among a lot of people is, 'well no one forced them to drink'."

Mr Winehouse also revealed that his daughter had a big charitable side - and once took in a burglar who had broken in to rob her home.

He said: "A burglar broke into her house and she heard him downstairs. She went downstairs and he saw it was Amy and he said 'sorry I didn't know it was you, if I had known it was your house I wouldn't have burgled it'.

"She said 'well, can I get you something to eat?' She ended up looking after him.

"And when we were in St Lucia there was a guy laying on the beach, he had a hernia problem and we took him to the hospital and she got him fixed up. And the local kids in St Lucia, she was leading them on the horses, selling her clothes and giving her money away. That was the sort of kid she was."