Russell Brand pays tribute to Winehouse

London:  Funnyman Russell Brand became serious at the MTV Video Music Awards when he kick-started a tribute to his mate Amy Winehouse.

Brand, 36, said, he initially thought Winehouse was nothing but “a crazy person” but he was stunned when he heard her singing at a Paul Weller show in London for the first time, Contactmusic reported.

“First time I met her, she was kind of a daft, dopey person, like, just wandering around, a little bit crazy. She just seemed like an ordinary girl with extraordinary hair. The first time though I heard Amy Winehouse sing, I thought, ‘This isn’t just another London chancer, not just another person milling about, trying to be famous’… I didn’t even know it was her… I thought, ‘What is this incredible sound, like a timeless sound, like a roar from the guts of humanity; the kind of voice that Billie Holliday sung with, the kind of voice that Ella Fitzgerald sung with… I turn into the arena and I see Amy Winehouse singing,” he said.

The Arthur actor then introduced Tony Bennett to the VMAs stage for the first time since 1993.

“Of all the young artists I’ve ever met in the last 20 years she was a true jazz artist in the tradition of Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holliday; she had the gift,” he said.

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