Even before Amy Winehouse’s funeral July 26, her press officer was playing down reports of a row between her recording and management companies over how her career was being handled.
El Divino Amphitheater, Florianopolis, Brazil
January 8, 2011
The Times and The Independent both suggested Island Records co-president Darcus Beese recommended that Winehouse leave Metropolis Music, a London-based live music promoter that also produces the Chelmsford leg of the V Festivals, because it was “mad” to sign her up for the European dates.
The European dates turned out to be one show in Serbia at Belgrade’s Kalemegdan Park June 18, which was such a shambles that the rest of the run was scrapped.
Her agent, Paul Franklin from Creative Artists Agency, notified the venues in an email that said Winehouse “needs time out to deal with her health problems.”
The shows that got scrubbed included major European festivals such as Switzerland’s Paleo-Nyon and Sziget Festival in Hungary, plus large outdoor shows in Greece and Turkey.
Raye Cosbert of Metropolis, which has managed Winehouse since she split from Simon Fuller's 19 Entertainment in 2006, was reportedly angrily rejecting criticism from her label over the decision to send the troubled singer on her recent European tour.
The Independent claimed Cosbert is now compiling a dossier of all the personal support and counseling assistance Metropolis provided for the singer.
It wasn’t possible to get comment from Island or Cosbert at press time, but Chris Goodman from The Outside Organisation – which handled press for Winehouse – suggested the two papers had created the story.
“The Times started it with supposed quotes from Island people, which were reported of course. We denied it,” he explained.
During her concert in Belgrade, Serbia.
June 18, 2011
He pointed that Beese and Cosbert issued a joint press release shortly after Winehouse died.
“In response to recent articles we would like to state categorically that at all times throughout Amy’s career we have stood shoulder to shoulder and worked as one to give Amy the best advice, our total support and all the love her huge talent and wonderful human spirit deserved,” it said.
Within the industry, Cosbert was regarded as a stabilising influence on the singer, working closely with her family to persuade her to get help.
Metropolis reportedly provided Winehouse with security and a housemate/minder, renting homes for her to live in and ensuring she attended rehab clinics.
Cosbert was traveling to New York with Amy’s father, Mitch, who’s launched a singing career with Metropolis, when Winehouse’s body was found.
Winehouse’s death will provide a sales bonanza for a variety of companies. Amazon and iTunes’ promotions of her music have driven Back To Black to the top of the charts, while Universal, which owns Island, is expected to find unreleased tracks, live songs and “duets” for a posthumous “third album.”
A post-mortem on Winehouse failed to establish the cause of her death, which left London police to wait up to a month for the results of further toxicology tests.
A body, believed to be that of singer singer Amy Winehouse, is removed from her home following her death.
July 23, 2011
An inquest was opened and adjourned July 25, with a second hearing set for Oct. 26.
The body was released and the award-winning star’s family was able to make arrangements for her funeral, which was a private family affair.