A year after the death of his superstar daughter Amy, Mitch Winehouse still cannot bear to watch footage of her or listen to an entire album of her music.
Still, he looked back on her life in the new book Amy, My Daughter, a heartbreaking story based on his memories of the talented singer, whose life and brilliant career were cut short.
Mitch Winehouse says he's trying to carry out Amy's wishes, through the foundation she conceived before her death, to help youth. One of the group's first initiatives is to partner with the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra on youth projects. The singer had been very affected by the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and told her father she wanted to help.
Winehouse is also trying to clear up myths about his daughter, he said in an interview with Jian Ghomeshi, host of CBC’s Q cultural affairs show.
"There were many misconceptions about her death. Some people assumed it was a drug overdose and she’d been clean of drugs since December 2008," he said.
"[Another was] that she committed suicide because she was in a terrible state of mind and turmoil — and she wasn’t."
Winehouse discussed his daughter’s bleak history with ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil and her battles against addiction, saying it is painful to revisit that period of her life.
However, he said she had conquered drugs and, at the time of her death, was on her way to ending her drinking. Winehouse said his daughter had been singing and playing drums on the final night of her life.
"It was a comfort to me that the last thing she was thinking about was singing," Winehouse said.
Proceeds from sales of Amy, My Daughter go to the Amy Winehouse Foundation.