As an iconic musician who was also plagued with the struggles of substance abuse at a young age, Ronnie Spector, of the legendary ‘60s girl group The Ronettes, has penned an essay in tribute to the late Amy Winehouse and covered the singer’s song, “”Back to Black.
In the essay for Rolling Stone, the artist says of her own battle,
When I was in my 20s, I was a lost girl – drinking, not knowing what to do or where to go. I never did drugs – like, “No way, you’re not gonna put a needle in my arm!” – but drinking is just as bad. In the Sixties, everyone was doing drugs, and I lost many people in the business. I knew Jimi Hendrix. I used to play with him down in the Village. When I had a Number One hit all over the world, the Rolling Stones were my opening act. I was around all the druggies, but my mother also traveled with us, wherever I was. She was a buffer so I didn’t see all of the bad stuff.
You can’t go around people who drink or do drugs, even family members. I learned that 20 years ago in A.A. I had two boys, and, when they were four and five, we moved to Connecticut. In New York, there were liquor stores on every other corner, and I didn’t need that. I knew enough to leave that. Now I don’t drink. I don’t do anything but my shows and take care of my kids.
Spector has been performing “Back to Black” during her concerts for the past couple of years and recently experienced covering the song with Winehouse in the audience.
“Amy came to my show in London about six months ago,” says Spector, “and she was so shy. She was hiding behind somebody, but I could see the hairstyle, and I knew she was there. That was all I needed. When I sang ‘Back to Black,’ I could see the tears in her eyes, and there were tears in mine.”
Debuting earlier today, the song is currently only available via Rolling Stone, but will soon be released as a charity single with proceeds going to Daytop Village substance abuse treatment centers.