Music industry to toast Amy Winehouse at Grammys

Fri Feb 8, 2008 4:03pm EST
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By Dean Goodman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The U.S. government might not care for Amy Winehouse, but the troubled British pop singer will likely receive plenty of long-distance love from the music industry when the Grammy Awards are handed out on Sunday.

Winehouse, whose promising career has been derailed by a litany of legal and drug woes, will compete for six of the music industry's top prizes. But U.S. authorities refused her a visa to attend the ceremony in Los Angeles.

The beehive-coiffed tabloid target will instead take a break from the London rehab clinic she entered last month to perform live via satellite from a recording studio. It's a prospect that makes some music industry observers nervous.

"Rehab is a very focused regimen and you're not supposed to be distracted. There's big potential for something negative," said Spin magazine editor Doug Brod, mindful of Britney Spears' disastrous showing at the MTV Video Music Awards in September.

On the other hand, Winehouse's recovery could be helped by a knockout performance and a handful of honors, he added.

"There is some sympathy out there for her right now," Brod said. "People understand she's in rehab, and she's trying to get through this."

A&M/Octone Records president James Diener, whose label handles nominated band Maroon 5, said the 13,000 industry professionals who vote for the Grammys will be keen to reward her across the board. He noted that it was fortunate polls closed just before photos were published of Winehouse appearing to be smoking crack at a party three weeks ago.


<p>Amy Winehouse performs during the 2007 Mercury Music Awards at the Grosvenor House hotel in London Sepember 4, 2007. REUTERS/Kieran Doherty</p>