Winehouse gets visa, won't attend Grammys
EmptyLONDON -- Amy Winehouse's visa came through, but not in time for the rehabbing singer to make the trip to Los Angeles for the Grammy Awards, her representatives said Friday.
Winehouse will go ahead with her backup plan to perform live via satellite from a studio in London, where she would also be available to accept any awards she may win during Sunday's ceremony. Winehouse and her acclaimed "Back to Black" album are nominated for Grammys in six categories.
"Unfortunately, due to the logistics involved and timing complications, Amy will not be traveling to the U.S. to perform at the Grammys in person," the Outside Organization said in a statement.
Winehouse's original visa application was denied under U.S. immigration rules regarding the "use and abuse of narcotics," a senior State Department official said Friday, on condition of anonymity because the U.S. Embassy in London's application deliberations are confidential.
The Department of Homeland Security had been "rapidly" processing her appeal, the official said. But the reversal, barely 48 hours before the beginning of the telecast, came too late.
"Amy would like to thank all of those people, in particular the staff involved at the U.S. Embassy in London, who have all worked so hard to expedite her application," Outside said. "She is looking forward to being a part of the 50th Annual Grammy Awards with her Sunday night performance and to going back to the U.S. soon."
Winehouse's potent blend of blues, jazz, pop and soul has won praise from critics and fans, but her chaotic personal life has increasingly upstaged her music. Concerned family members regularly beg Winehouse to seek help in letters splashed across the pages of British tabloid newspapers and magazines.
Last month, The Sun newspaper ran still images from a video that it claimed showed Winehouse inhaling fumes from a small pipe. The images were said to have been filmed during a party at her London home.
Shortly thereafter, Winehouse entered a London rehabilitation center, and has been questioned by police. Outside said earlier Friday that she was leaving the center to prepare for her performance. It added that the singer would remain under medical supervision.
Other British music acts have had difficulty securing visas. Lily Allen was scheduled to perform at the MTV Video Music Awards in September, but the pop star's visa was revoked. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services hasn't commented, but her manager has said he suspected it was because Allen was arrested in London in June after an altercation with photographers.