Amy Winehouse’s Viral Hot-Mic Moment from 2008 Grammys About Justin Timberlake Cut from “Back to Black” Biopic

‘Back to Black’ recreates the moment the late singer earned her Record of the Year Grammy Award — with one exception

<p>Peter Macdiarmid/Getty</p> Amy Winehouse in London on Feb. 10, 2008

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty

Amy Winehouse in London on Feb. 10, 2008

Amy Winehouse was almost as beloved for her unapologetic frankness as she was for her hit music.

The English singer-songwriter, who died of alcohol poisoning at age 27 in 2011, shot to international superstardom with the success of her 2006 album, Back to Black, which including the hit single, “Rehab.” Combining the sounds of jazz, 1960s-esque pop and soul, Winehouse didn’t shy away from infusing her lyrics with the trauma and heartbreak she experienced as she struggled with drug and alcohol addiction.

Nor did she shy away from speaking her mind. Case in point: one of the biggest moments in Winehouse’s career was the 2008 Grammy Awards, which made her a five-time winner for Back to Black. Among the prizes the Mark Ronson-produced album earned was Record of the Year, which was presented by Natalie Cole and Tony Bennett while Winehouse and her band watched the ceremony and performed live from London via satellite.

Related: Mark Ronson Shares Unheard Amy Winehouse Vocals in TikTok About the Making of 'Back to Black'

<p> Michael Caulfield/WireImage</p> From Left: Tony Bennett and Natalie Cole at the 50th Grammy Awards in 2008

Michael Caulfield/WireImage

From Left: Tony Bennett and Natalie Cole at the 50th Grammy Awards in 2008

In a moment that has since repeatedly gone viral, Winehouse reacted to Cole’s reading aloud fellow contender, “What Goes Around... Comes Around” by Justin Timberlake. Turning from the screen moments before the winner was announced, the singer scrunched up her face in incredulity and asked into the still-hot microphone, “His album’s called ‘What Goes Around… Comes Around?’ ”

The song in question, from the 2006 album FutureSex/LoveSounds, won Timberlake the Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance that evening. But it was “Rehab” that Bennett announced as the winner of Record of the Year, prompting a stunned Winehouse to run from the mic into the arms of her bandmates.

"This is for London,” she shouted in her acceptance speech, thanking her producers, parents and then-husband Blake Fielder-Civil, who was incarcerated at the time. “’Cuz Camden town ain’t burning down," she added in reference to a fire that had destroyed the Hawley Arms, one of Winehouse’s favorite Camden pubs, the night prior.

Related: Amy Winehouse's Ex-Husband Is 'Very Misunderstood,' Says Back to Black Star Jack O'Connell (Exclusive) 

The new biopic Back to Black (in theaters Friday, May 17) depicts Winehouse’s origins and whirlwind success. Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and written by Matt Greenhalgh with the approval of The Amy Winehouse Estate run by the late star’s parents, it recreates the night of the 50th Grammy Awards. Star Marisa Abela, in the iconic beehive hairdo, black dress and heels, channels the awe Winehouse clearly felt upon hearing Bennett — one of her jazz idols — announce her name. 

But fans looking for her apparent dig at Timberlake may be disappointed. While the scene intercuts the real Grammys footage of Bennett and Cole on the screen she’s watching, Abela’s Winehouse makes no mention of “What Goes Around… Comes Around” in the movie.

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<p>Dean Rogers/Focus Features;Getty</p> From Left: Marisa Abela in 'Back to Black'; and Amy Winehouse

Dean Rogers/Focus Features;Getty

From Left: Marisa Abela in 'Back to Black'; and Amy Winehouse

Related: Kelly Clarkson Recalls Karaoke Night with Amy Winehouse Before 'Back to Black' Success: 'She Had Such a Presence'

"Told through Amy’s eyes and inspired by her deeply personal lyrics,” Back to Black “explores and embraces the many layers of the iconic artist and the tumultuous love story at the center of one of the most legendary albums of all time," per an official synopsis. It costars Jack O’Connell, Eddie Marsan and Lesley Manville as some of those closest to the singer.

Back to Black remains the U.K.'s second best-selling album of the 21st century, sitting behind Adele’s 21.

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