Amy Winehouse's father says meeting the children being helped by the foundation set up in his late daughter's name has been heartbreaking — and heartwarming.
The singer's parents, Mitch and Janis Winehouse, visited Little Havens Children's Hospice east of London on Wednesday to meet children benefiting from a 10,000-pound ($15,600) donation.
There, Mitch Winehouse wiped away tears as he described meeting 6-year old Callum Miller and his family.
"He's severely brain damaged from birth, lovely, lovely kid," explained Winehouse, saying he was especially moved by the relationship between the boy and his 8-year-old brother Connor.
"It was heartbreaking actually . . . I'm starting to well up now, but heartwarming at the same time," he said. "Here you've got an 8-year-old boy whose 6-year-old brother is severely handicapped and he's kissing and cuddling him and I thought that was just beautiful."
The Amy Winehouse Foundation was officially launched 10 weeks ago to support vulnerable youth, and has pledged to donate 500,000 pounds ($780,000) in its first year.
Meeting the young beneficiaries in person has been a key part of grieving for their daughter, Winehouse said. A British coroner ruled the Grammy winner, known for her beehive hairdo and hit albums like "Frank" and "Back to Black," died of alcohol poisoning.
"We want to go and visit people because people loved Amy, the children loved Amy" Winehouse says.
The former taxi cab driver, who released his own jazz swing covers album in 2010, works full time on the foundation — but says it's a job with no salary. Winehouse hopes a book he is working on will raise millions for the foundation.
"I would say this is what we do for a living but we don't get paid to do it," he said. "Amy's left us in the fortunate position where we don't have to worry about going to work like we had to, as long as we're sensible and careful, but all of our efforts are now channeled into the foundation."
The price tag of a new posthumous album by the singer, "Lioness: Hidden Treasures," includes a pound donation. Out next week, the compilation includes covers and stripped-down versions of released Winehouse songs.
It charts her evolution — but is not the album she would have released if she was alive, her father acknowledged.
"We should be looking forward to her album similar to 'Frank' and 'Back to Black,' but we're not, so this is the album that we've got and I'm very proud of it," he said.
Amy Winehouse's producer Salaam Remi last week told The Associated Press the soul diva had in fact already written all the songs that were to appear on a follow-up. Only two of the tracks were recorded, and appear on "Lioness: Hidden Treasures."
Winehouse warned there may be no more to come.
"We are the guardians of her music, and we won't allow anything to go out that will compromise her.. legacy," he said. "If these are the three albums that are going out to support her legacy — if that's it — then that will be it."