Despite Abortive Gig, St. Lucia Thanks Amy Winehouse

St. Lucia's top tourism official was disappointed British singer Amy Winehouse cut short her performance at the St. Lucia Jazz Festival last week because of heavy rain, but he praised the troubled retro-soul star for bringing buzz to the event.

"This has never received the kind of pre-attention that it achieved this year and all of it is attributable to Amy," Tourism Minister Allen Chastanet said Monday.

He said he was "a little disappointed" that the 25-year-old singer known for battles with addiction and frequent run-ins with the law abandoned her Friday performance at the festival.

"I would I have liked to see her belt out some more songs, yes, but she is an artist and she will perform and do what she wants to do. I'd like to think that she could have done better and I only hope that she gets to that level in her life when she can," Chastanet said.

Winehouse's spokesman, Chris Goodman, said over the weekend that rain dousing the stage caused a lighting rig to fail and disrupted sound equipment. She wanted to keep singing but had to stop, and was disappointed she couldn't finish her first concert of the year, the statement said.

Winehouse won five Grammy Awards in 2008, but her music has struggled to command as much attention as her personal life, with a rocky marriage and problems with drugs. St. Lucia media have closely covered the singer's presence since she arrived in December, accusing her of everything from tossing a drink on a tourist to throwing up at a breakfast buffet.

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