Many viewers are questioning MTV’s decision to have Bruno Mars perform a tribute to the late Amy Winehouse, who suffered from drug and alcohol addiction - due to Bruno Mars’ recent arrest in Las Vegas.
Arrested for possession of cocaine last fall, Mars pleaded guilty and was charged with a felony. In return for his guilty plea, the charges were erased from his criminal record. Mars was fined $2,000 as well as 200 hours of community service, and was mandated to complete a drug counseling course.
Fans of both Winehouse and Mars could not help but notice the irony that a convicted drug abuser would sing a tribute to Winehouse, whose death is widely suspected of being related to drugs and alcohol.
Twitter user Clara wrote, “How could they insult Amy by choosing Bruno Mars of all people to honor her…”
“Bruno Mars, the dude who got caught with cocaine. Of course he will do the tribute to Amy Winehouse. See how they set that up,” wrote Rosbely on Twitter.
Some opinions of the tribute were mixed, while another Twitter user, Stephanie, wrote, “I think Bruno Mars tribute to Amy Winehouse was really good.”
“The Amy Winehouse tribute put me in tears, I don’t care that Bruno Mars did it, he killed it. I just appreciate them doing this for her,” said JP on Twitter.
A rising star, Mars paid his respects Winehouse through a performance at the MTV 2011 VMA’s Sunday night by singing the deceased singer’s hit song, “Valerie,” after being introduced by Russell Brand.
Brand, former friend to Winehouse, also paid respects to the former singer. “She was a mate of mine and tragically this year we lost her,” said Brand, following a somber warning to the audience about drug and alcohol addictions.
In addition to tributes by Mars and Brand, Tony Bennett described her as “As true jazz artist” during MTV’s 2011 VMAs.
Mitch Winehouse, Amy’s father, told CBS News: “Our family is honored that the VMAs are giving Amy this wonderful tribute. We know that Amy’s performance of “Rehab” at the MTV Movie Awards played an important role in Amy’s worldwide success.”
The cause of Winehouse’s death remains a mystery, although toxicology tests showed no illegal drugs in her system at the time she died.