VH1 News caught up with Estelle and Big Sean at the mostly drama-free Here I Am launch party, and the discussion turned to the late Amy Winehouse, whom Estelle knew from the London club circuit. (She’d told Sway, “I cried for about two days,” when she appeared on his Shade 45 morning show earlier that day.)
“She sang from her soul,” Estelle told VH1 News, as Big Sean looked on. She recalled first hearing “F?k Me Pumps,” from Winehouse’s debut Frank: “I’m sitting there, like, ‘I know girls like that! I know every one of ‘em girls! We rave with them every week!’” Clearly, even though the two singers came up together, Estelle admired her late friend’s lyrical talents. “It’s hard as an artist to be that clear and that clean in your message and what you’re talking about,” she said. “[Amy Winehouse] was the only one I knew who could do that, and just speak it.” The real revelation of the interview, though, is the new level of appreciation that Big Sean develops for Winehouse as Estelle speaks. “Wow! That’s crazy! I didn’t know it was like that,” he said, admiringly, adding, “I didn’t personally know her. That’s real, man. She sounded like a real G. No, seriously!” (Anyone who needs a reminder of her realness need only watch her shocked gratitude at winning the Grammy for Record of the Year. WARNING: That video nearly made us cry at work?and we watched the ceremony live.)
The sad news of the day also came up when VH1 News spoke to Gavin Rossdale yesterday. Like Big Sean, he didn’t know her personally, but he remarked that “It was really hard to not love her from when you first saw her.” His appreciation for her music is undeniable in the interview. “I remember that  Grammy performance?the way that she shimmied onstage and just sang,” he recalled, contrasting Winehouse’s retro stylings with “the pop spectacle of the dances and the sets and the upside-down cars.” He shared Estelle’s love of Winehouse’s “realness” on Frank. “She’s so feisty, and outspoken, and just irreverent, in a time when people weren’t as interesting as that.” Amen to that.