OK, so Wino was really the star of the show

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Amy Winehouse went ahead and sang ‘‘Rehab.’’ From the looks of things, she still isn’t crazy about being there.

While the retro-soul singer never addressed her problems during a two-song Grammy performance via satellite tonight, some knowing smiles crept across her face during her signature hit. And as it wound to a close, she sang, ‘‘They’re trying to make me go to rehab, but I ... ‘‘ and gave a dismissive gesture with her arms as she backed away from the microphone.

Winehouse was stuck in London, where she performed at nearly 4 a.m. before a small audience gathered at the Riverside Studios in London — and watched as an armload of awards were set aside in her honor.

Winehouse won five Grammys in all: She took best new artist and female pop vocal performance; ‘‘Rehab’’ was named song and record of the year; and ‘‘Back to Black’’ won pop vocal album. She came up one short — album of the year — of cashing in on all six nominations.

The bizarre circumstances of her absence seemed weirdly appropriate: how could the year get any wilder for the 24-year-old singer? The soulful stylings of her album ‘‘Back to Black’’ were embraced just as her life was falling apart in public. Her near residency in British tabloids was capped when she was sent to a rehabilitation center for substance abuse.

Winehouse also performed ‘‘You Know I’m No Good.’’ She was dressed in a black cocktail dress that displayed her tattoos, her once-again black hair piled high on her head.

She stepped to the microphone after the performance and shyly said, ‘‘It’s an honor to be here. I thank you very very very much.’’

Winehouse seemed shocked a few moments later to be told she had won record of the year for ‘‘Rehab.’’ Her dancers and father surrounded her in a bear hug as she appeared near tears, then accepted the honor.

‘‘To my mom and dad, for my Blake, my Blake incarcerated,’’ she said, mentioning her jailed husband, ‘‘and for London. This is for London because Camden Town is burning down.’’

Winehouse had hoped to attend the Grammys, but the satellite performance was arranged when the U.S. government rejected her application for a work visa. The decision was reversed, but it was too late to make the trip at that point.

Grammy voters had looked past her trouble and honored her music. Before the show went on the air on CBS, she had already won best pop vocal album for ‘‘Back to Black’’ and female pop vocal performance for ‘‘Rehab.’’

When Winehouse was named best new artist, the result seemed to thrill presenter Cyndi Lauper, who shouted, ‘‘Yes, yes!’’


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This page contains a single entry by Thomas Conner published on February 10, 2008 11:11 PM.

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