Fresh off her Grammys triumph – and out of full-time treatment – how’s Amy Winehouse doing?
“She’s full of energy, full of life,” her backup singer Zalon Thompson tells PEOPLE. “It’s a good thing.” (It was into Thompson’s arms that Winehouse threw herself after winning her fifth Grammy.)
Winehouse, 24, is “ready for the Brits,” he says, referring to Winehouse’s scheduled performance Wednesday night at the U.K.’s equivalent of the Grammy awards.
“I think sometimes it takes you to go through certain hard things to overcome and to go on to do better things,” Thompson, 26, says of Winehouse, who is out of rehab but still getting help. “She looked really good at the Grammys. She just looked very rested. It was great.”
The Two Blakes
Her success that night hasn’t turned Winehouse into a diva. “I was speaking with Kelly Osbourne the other day. And we were saying how she hasn’t changed at all,” Thompson, who lends his voice to the “He can only hold her” and “Valerie” tracks, says. “She doesn’t believe in the same principles that everyone else gets excited about. Get her a guitar and she’ll play for 10 people or 300. She doesn’t care about the whole fame thing – it’s really about the music. She doesn’t care about trying to live up to an image.”
Thompson also set the record straight about Blake Wood, a pal of Osbourne’s Winehouse has been hanging out with. “Blake [Wood] is a friend,” Thompson says. “When she first introduced him to us, she was like, ‘This is Blake.’ And everyone in the room started laughing. I was like, ‘Why are you telling me this guy is Blake? I know who Blake is.’ ”
And there is little confusion or doubt about Winehouse’s feelings for her husband Blake Fielder-Civil. As Thompson says, just look at her face. “That teardrop she’s wearing in makeup on her face – I asked her. It’s because her baby’s incarcerated. I think she’ll wear that until he comes out.”
‘Like a Birthday Party’
Thompson described the atmosphere in London’s Riverside Studios during Winehouse’s Grammy performance as “like a birthday party. Like Amy’s birthday party, and she was winning the Grammys. It was so surreal.”
“It was like four in the morning – we were drinking our Red Bulls and she’s winning another Grammy,” says Thompson, whose younger brother Heshima, 21, also performs with Winehouse.
“At one point, I’m like, ‘Omigod Amy, you won three awards already. And she was like, ‘Zalon, we won it.’ It was really nice that she’s still humble. She was just so chilled about the whole thing. She was like, ‘Yeah, that’s cool, innit?’ And I was like, ‘Amy, you just won a Grammy. It’s not just cool – it’s amazing!’ ”
Thompson has even posted some behind-the-scenes footage of Winehouse’s Grammy performance on his Web site.