Booking unpredictable singer [artist id=”1742872″]Amy Winehouse[/artist] for the first-ever live MTV Movie Awards in 2007 seemed like a recipe for trouble, but her sultry hit single “Rehab” was climbing the charts, and audiences were clamoring for any glimpse of the talented British songstress.
Still, we didn’t anticipate Winehouse skipping town and jetting off to Las Vegas right after her rehearsal and just hours before she was set to perform live at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, California. Perhaps we should have suspected she’d pull some kind of stunt: Earlier that year, we’d taped a Winehouse performance for the MTV show “45th at Night,” and it was anything but a smooth shoot.
“Just about every song, she stopped. She walked offstage,” said Garrett English, MTV executive in charge of production at the time. “It was difficult for her to work all the way through the set. Knowing that she was going to be on Movie Awards in a true live environment was a little bit concerning.”
Fast-forward to the day before the live Movie Awards show. Winehouse showed up very, very late for rehearsal. According to Jane Mun, an MTV producer at the time, the singer seemed a little subdued and shy but finished the run-through without incident. Afterward, though, MTV producers got word that Winehouse planned to board a private plane and fly to Vegas to party with fashion photographer David LaChapelle. Despite MTV protestations, Winehouse headed to Sin City less than half a day before she was needed back at the Gibson.
“We had to let her go, stay in touch and hope for the best,” said Robin Katz, an MTV talent executive at the time.
Unfortunately, the whole “stay in touch” thing didn’t work out so well. Saturday night passed without any word from Winehouse’s camp. By Sunday morning, there was still no communication with the singer. Finally, less than an hour before showtime, MTV producers received a text that Winehouse’s plane had landed and the singer was heading to the show.
From there, everything went smoothly. Bruce Willis asked if he could introduce Winehouse, and she pulled off a dazzling performance.
“It was an epic performance of ’Rehab,’ ” said Mark Burnett, the awards show’s executive producer. “Edgy, as Amy always is, and it really fits the vibe of MTV.”
Will the vampires grab more trophies than the slumdog? What was the year’s ultimate onscreen WTF moment? It’s up to you to decide the winners of the 2009 MTV Movie Awards. Vote now, and tune in on Sunday at 9 p.m. ET, when the big show airs live from the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, California.
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