Two hours after learning that Amy Winehouse’s voice had been forever silenced, her goddaughter and protégé, Dionne Bromfield, took to the stage to perform. Though the 15-year-old made no mention of the tragedy, nor sang any of her godmother’s songs during her abbreviated set, the audience gave the grieving soul songstress warm applause as she exited the stage early and quickly left the Ponty Big Weekend Festival in Pontypridd, Wales.
Spokesman Tim Powell said of the teen’s performance, “It was very, very professional. We would have perfectly understood if she hadn’t wanted to perform, but she very bravely did.”
Just a few days earlier, another of Bromfield ‘s audiences witnessed what we now know was Amy Winehouse’s final onstage appearance. Winehouse sang a few words into the microphone at Bromfield’s prompting, but mostly just danced alongside her goddaughter as the young singer performed “Mama Said,” a single from her debut album, Introducing Dionne Bromfield, released by Winehouse’s Lioness record label in 2009.
Bromfield, the biracial daughter of a Jamaican father and British mother, lists her musical heroes as Aretha Franklin, Beyoncé and Ne-Yo. She has a remarkably mature sound and a collection of expertly produced covers on her album, including “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “My Boy Lollipop.”
“That’s Amy’s favorite song,” Bromfield once told a reporter. It is one of three songs on which Winehouse sang background vocals.
The unfortunate death of Amy Winehouse likely will result in worldwide attention and a boost in record sales for this talented teen. If she is able to learn the lessons her godmother taught her by her short and tragic life, Bromfield will leave drugs and alcohol alone and focus on trying to fill her mentor’s singing and songwriting shoes — a task that should keep her busy for decades to come.
by Kathleen Cross for rollingout.com