‘It was an epic performance of ‘Rehab,’ Mark Burnett, the award show’s executive producer, says.
By Rob Markman
The 2007 MTV Movie Awards show was all the way live, and the late Amy Winehouse, who was found dead in her London home on Saturday, provided one of the show’s many highlights with a spectacular performance of her hit single “Rehab.”
Introduced by actor Bruce Willis, Winehouse took the stage and thrilled the Hollywood crowd with her soulful vocal runs of true-to-life lyrics. But what turned out to be one of the singer’s more memorable performances almost wasn’t. The 2007 ceremony marked the first time that MTV’s Movie Awards aired live, and the unpredictable Winehouse almost threw things out of whack.
Sadly, the song “Rehab” was all too real for the rising Brit star, who began canceling shows during her ascent up the charts. Her team cited “health issues,” while rumors of substance abuse problems became inescapable. Still, Winehouse quickly became a fan favorite, and her performance at the Movie Awards proved to be a big draw.
After showing up late for her rehearsal, which took place the night before the live show, the British singer rendezvoused off to Las Vegas for a party with photographer David LaChapelle. MTV protested, but still Winehouse made way for the Strip less than 12 hours before she was needed back in California to perform. Things shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise considering the numerous bumps MTV experienced when taping her for another show, “45th at Night,” earlier that year.
“Just about every song, she stopped. She walked offstage,” Garrett English, MTV executive in charge of production at the time, said. “It was difficult for her to work all the way through the set. Knowing that she was going to be on the Movie Awards in a true live environment was a little bit concerning.”
“We had to let her go, stay in touch and hope for the best,” MTV talent executive Robin Katz said.
The show’s producers didn’t hear from Winehouse’s camp until an hour before showtime, when they received a text that confirmed the singer had returned from Sin City and was heading to the Gibson Amphitheater in Universal City, California, where the ceremony was taking place.
Despite the scare, once Amy took the stage, she performed as only Amy could. She hit her mark, and the star-studded crowd loved it.
“It was an epic performance of ‘Rehab,’ ” Mark Burnett, the awards show’s executive producer, said. “Edgy, as Amy always is, and it really fits the vibe of MTV.”
Amy Winehouse was found dead Saturday at the age of 27, and despite all of her troubles, she still remained a favorite among fans and music contemporaries alike.