We’re looking back at the moment Amy Winehouse joined The Rolling Stones on stage to perform ‘Ain’t Too Proud to Beg’ back in 2007.
Most artists will quake in their musical boots when meeting one of their heroes. When those heroes are Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, and Ronnie Wood—AKA The Rolling Stones—you’d be forgiven for putting those boots on the Richter scale. But then again, Amy Winehouse wasn’t like most artists.
That stage was the illustrious main stage of the Isle of Wight festival. A mainstay of the festival circuit since 1969, it’s almost been around as long as the Rolling Stones. Almost. In 2007, it was given an extra treat as two icons of rock and roll met, when The Rolling Stones took the ferry (more likely a helicopter) to the muddy fields of Newport to deliver an emphatic headlining performance.
As well as a host of their favourite tracks from their decades-long career, The Stones are also known to have a few aces up their sleeve by way of covers of iconic songs when performing for their fans. This performance was no different as Jagger and co switched gears and into a rendition of The Temptations’ song ‘Ain’t Too Proud to Beg’. But while one ace was laid on the table another was soon to follow from their beautifully glittered sleeves.
A few lines into the song Amy Winehouse arrives to, a delayed but still, rapturous applause. Faced with the vocal challenge of matching Mick Jagger’s energetic performance, Winehouse shows off why, at the time, she was one of the most sought after and talented singers in the world and why today she is still so sorely missed.
2007 represented a time of success but tabloid turmoil for the singer. Winehouse had made her name with the Mark Ronson produced album Back to Black and the lead single of the LP ‘Rehab’ had shot Amy into the stratosphere of international success. But with fame and glory comes temptation and decadence, something that would culminate in Winehouse’s maddeningly early death.
While Winehouse’s death now shrouds this performance with a touch of dark sadness, it is in this very act of performing that made the singer feel most alive. It’s clear to see from the footage that she is just as excited to be in front of a massive crowd, performing with the biggest band on the planet, as she would be performing to six drunks in a working men’s club in Camden. To Amy Winehouse, performing was everything.
She was damn good at it too. While other pop stars have tried to work with legendary rock stars and failed to match them in power (Rihanna with Bon Jovi, Taylor Swift with Jagger and Steven Tyler etc.), Winehouse takes the occasion in her stride and delivers a stunning performance.
In truth, Jagger felt a deep connection with Amy Winehouse. He was often quoted talking about her issues and one tabloid paper even suggested he wanted to officially become her father. While those ideas are best left to the red-tops, we think it’s best to sit back and watch both Jagger and Winehouse perform together in effortless synchronicity.
Watch as Amy Winehouse joins The Rolling Stones on the Isle of Wight Festival stage in 2007 to perform The Temptations’ ‘Ain’t Too Proud to Beg’