[08/23/11 - 01:42 PM]
Legendary Tony Bennett to Participate in Special Tribute to Amy Winehouse at The "2011 MTV Video Music Awards"
Other performers set for Sunday's event include Lady Gaga, Adele, Bruno Mars, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, Pitbull and Young The Giant.

[via press release from MTV]



NEW YORK, NY (August 23, 2011) - To celebrate the life and music of Amy Winehouse, the "2011 MTV Video Music Awards" will pay special tribute to the late British songstress with music legend, Tony Bennett. Winehouse and her hero, Bennett, recently recorded the duet, "Body and Soul," for his upcoming Duets II album, out September 20th. Marking his first appearance on the VMA stage since 1993, Mr. Bennett, who won one Album of the Year, at the 1995 Grammy Awards for the CD "MTV Unplugged: Tony Bennett," will introduce the tribute, which includes unveiling footage from their recording session together. "Body and Soul" was Winehouse's final session and took place this past March at Abbey Road Studios in London. The single and video will be released by Columbia Records September 14th, Amy's Birthday, in support of the Amy Winehouse Foundation established by the late singer's family to help a number of charities connected with children and young people.

"It was a thrill to record with Amy Winehouse and when you listen to the recording of "Body and Soul," it is a testament to her artistic genius and her brilliance as one of the most honest musicians I have ever known," said Mr. Bennett.

Winehouse, known for the depth and power of her soulful voice will be remembered by fans and peers for her awe inspiring talent and classic hits such as "Rehab," "Back to Black," "Me & Mr. Jones," and "You Know I'm No Good."

Amy's father, Mitch Winehouse said, "Our family is honored that the VMA's are giving Amy this wonderful tribute. We know that Amy's performance of Rehab at the MTV Movie Awards played an important part in Amy's worldwide success."

2011 VMA performers include Lady Gaga, Adele, Bruno Mars, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, Pitbull and Young The Giant. Jonah Hill, Rick Ross, Seth Rogen, Selena Gomez, Kim Kardashian, Odd Future, Nicki Minaj, Taylor Lautner, Drake, Joe Jonas, Jared Leto, and JB Smoove from HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm are confirmed to present. Additionally, Jessie J was just announced as VMA house artist. The "2011 MTV Video Music Awards" will air live from Nokia Theater L.A. Live in Los Angeles on Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 9PM (Live ET/Tape delayed PT)..

The 2011 "MTV Video Music Awards" will be available to a potential viewing audience of more than 1.2 billion people via MTV's global network of more than 60 channels reaching more than 640 million households around the world as well as through syndication. In addition, its convergent programming and content will reach the entire interactive community, via MTV's nearly 200 digital media properties around the world.

The 2010 VMAs averaged a 10.0 P12-34 rating and 11.4 million total viewers, marking the network's best deliveries for any MTV telecast since the 2002 VMAs (8/29/02) as well as making it the third most watched telecast in MTV's history.

To watch video of last year's biggest moments, get the full list of last year's show winners and can check out fashion, celebrity and music commentary from the shows' red carpets, please go to vma.mtv.com.

Jesse Ignjatovic/Den of Thieves is the Executive Producer for the "2011 MTV Video Music Awards." Amy Doyle, Garrett English and Dave Sirulnick are Executive Producers. Jen Jones is co-Executive Producer. Joanna Bomberg is Executive in Charge of Music and Talent. Hamish Hamilton is Director. Wendy Plaut is Celebrity Talent Executive.

Official sponsors of the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards are 5(R) Gum, COVERGIRL, Dove(R) go fresh Deodorant, Kia Motors America, PacSun, Sharpie(R), State Farm(R), Taco Bell(R) and Verizon.

About Tony Bennett;

Tony Bennett is an artist who moves the hearts and touches the souls of audiences. He's not just the singer's singer but also an international treasure honored by the United Nations with its Citizen of the World award, which aptly describes the scope of his accomplishments. Anthony Dominick Benedetto was born in the Astoria section of Queens, New York.. Tony's big break came in 1949 when comedian Bob Hope noticed him working with Pearl Bailey in Greenwich Village. His initial fame came via a string of Columbia singles in the 1950s, including such chart-toppers as "Because of You," "Rags To Riches" and a cover of Hank Williams' "Cold, Cold Heart." He has placed two-dozen songs in the Top 40, including "I Wanna Be Around," "The Good Life," "Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me)" and his signature hit, "I Left My Heart In San Francisco." One of only a few artists to have albums chart in the 1950s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, and the new millennium, he's introduced multitudes of songs into the Great American Songbook that have become pop music standards. Thus far, Tony has earned 15 Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Tony Bennett became a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2005, was named an NEA Jazz Master in January of 2006 .His 2006 CD released in honor of his 80th birthday , DUETS became a multi-platinum hit, won three Grammys and is the singer's best selling recording to date. A multiple Emmy winner, Tony's AN AMERICAN CLASSIC TV special, directed by Oscar winner Rob Marshall ("Chicago," "Memoirs Of A Geisha"), won 7 Emmy Awards in 2007. Tony is a dedicated painter whose interest in art began as a child. He continues to paint daily, even while touring. He has exhibited work around the world, and three of his original paintings are part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institutions in Washington, D.C. Throughout his career, Tony Bennett has always put his heart and time into humanitarian concerns. The United Nations presented him with their 2007 Humanitarian Award. In 2001, Tony established the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, one of the highest rated public high schools in New York City. With his wife Susan, they founded Exploring the Arts, a non-profit organization that supports arts programs in 14 NYC public high schools in all five boroughs. Tony Bennett celebrated his 85th birthday on August 3, 2011 and will be releasing his DUETS II CD this September in honor of this milestone which features Tony singing duets with many celebrated artists including Lady Gaga, John Mayer, Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey, Queen Latifah and Amy Winehouse.

About MTV:

MTV is the world's premier youth entertainment brand. With a global reach of more than a half-billion households, MTV is the cultural home of the millennial generation, music fans and artists, and a pioneer in creating innovative programming for young people. MTV reflects and creates pop culture with its Emmy(R), Grammy(R) and Peabody(R) award-winning content built around compelling storytelling, music discovery and activism across TV, online and mobile. MTV's sibling networks MTV2 and mtvU each deliver unparalleled customized content for young males, music fans and college students, and its online hub MTV.com is the leading destination for music, news and pop culture. MTV is part of MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms.

  [august 2011]  

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