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Best and Worst: Amy Winehouse tribute
Russell Brand – recovering addict and a friend to late troubled singer Amy Winehouse – just went on and on, and to little effect in memorializing his pal. It wasn’t funny, but it wasn’t sad. Tony Bennett flatly associated Winehouse to Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. “She had the gift,” he said, smiling. “You just can’t beat a real jazz singer.” Pleasant enough.
But then Bruno Mars stepped up and I forgot this was supposed to be a tribute. It was just a great, fateful nod. In full Frankie Valli mode, Mars himself had something to prove, that he has the gift, too. And he does. He didn’t have the Dap-Kings backing him, but it was a party band nonetheless, and a striking vocal performance to boot.