On Tony Bennett’s 80th birthday, he released the album Duets. On Sept. 20th, in honor of his 85th, the legendary crooner will release Duets II, a follow-up album featuring even more collaborations with contemporary artists — leading the charge are K.D. Lang, Michael BublÃ©, Lady Gaga, and the late Amy Winehouse.
Winehouse, who had struggled for years with drug and alcohol addiction, was found dead in her London home on the afternoon of July 23. The cause of her death has not yet been determined. Before her death, the 27-year-old Grammy winner and Bennett recorded their duet for Tony’s new disc at London’s Abbey Road Studios. It was to be Winehouse’s final recording, and her family says the song’ll be released as a charity single next month. All proceeds from the sale of “Body and Soul” will go to the newly established Amy Winehouse Foundation.
Mitch Winehouse believes releasing the tune as a charity single is “the most fitting tribute of all” to his daughter. The foundation is set to fund projects focussing on young people. The family also hopes to establish a drug rehab center for addicted youths.
“We wanted to make a positive difference and help a range of causes close to Amy’s heart. This could include help for children in trouble, suffering from health problems, children’s hospices and more,” Mitch, a former cabbie, said in a statement Thursday.
“While it is separate from my campaign to find more help for young addicts, that may be one of the areas that foundation contributes to. We intend to raise funds and distribute them to individual projects who apply for help. I couldn’t be happier that everyone involved with Amy and this recording felt they wanted to contribute. Amy was so excited to be working with Tony Bennett and really looking forward to her fans hearing this new recording. The fact that Amy’s voice is sounding as amazing and beautiful as ever and she is singing with the great Tony Bennett seems the most fitting tribute of all at this very difficult time.”
Pre-orders through www.TonyBennett.com will get fans an exclusive video of Tony and k.d. lang’s duet of “Blue Velvet,” as well as an instant MP3 download of the track.
You can also pre-order the album via iTunes.