Amy Winehouse and Sharon Jones had a complicated relationship, but it was one built on respect for each other's formidable talents.
Amy's astronomical rise to success put a spotlight on Sharon Jones and her band, the Dap-Kings, who Mark Ronson hired to back Winehouse on her 2006 breakout album, Back to Black.
Although Winehouse was indelibly linked to the retro, soulful sound that helped Back to Black win five Grammy awards, it was the same sound Sharon Jones, now 56, had been honing for decades - while hovering under the mainstream radar.
A 2007 New York Times article - 'She's Not Anybody's Backup Act' - discussed the "mixed blessing" that was Winehouse's association with Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings.
The reporter described Winehouse as the 'elephant in the room' during the interview with Ms. Jones, who referred to Amy as 'What's-her-name."
At the time, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings were about to release their third full-length studio album, '100 Days, 100 Nights', amid concerns that their longtime Brooklyn-based record label, Daptone, would be accused of trying to imitate Winehouse's sound - when in fact it was Amy's people who approached them.
"They jumped on us!" Sharon told the New York Times.
"Even what's-his-name, [Mark] Ronson," Sharon said. "They came to us to get the sound they wanted behind their music. We were just sitting here minding our own business, doing our little 45s and albums, and all of a sudden they were like, 'I want your sound.'"
Although the article points out that Jones was "clearly grateful" for the career boost afforded her by Back to Black, it put her "in the odd position of competing against a younger, far more famous singer who had the good taste to use her band."
"First, I feel kind of angry about it," Sharon said initially, but added, "Well, if it took Amy to get the Dap-Kings heard, then it's a good thing. I say it's great. Thank you."
Jones, who once worked as a prison guard on Rikers Island, has since gained more recognition and commerical success with the Dap-Kings. While '100 Days,100 Nights' was met with both commerical and critical ambivalence, 2010's 'I Learned The Hard Way' reached number six on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop album chart, and was largely praised by music critics.
In a New York Magazine interview that coincided with 'Hard Way's' release, Jones addressed Winehouse's similar style, insisting that she was not bothered by the fact the Amy ostensibly adopted the Daptone sound.
"For the Dap-Kings, that was an opener, and people in the mainstream started lookin' them up," she told the magazine.
But suggestions that she was 'jumping on Winehouse's bandwagon' had not sat well. "We've been there, and we're still doin' this. In another few years, what are they gonna be doin'?" Jones said in what now feels eerily, ominously prophetic.
Jones had seen Amy the year before in London. "I don't even want to talk about it," she told the magazine. "But I can tell you this. Instead of people laughin' at her, pray for her. Drugs are so horrible."
In the wake of Winehouse's tragic death, Sharon recounted that meeting in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
"I hugged her and then let go because I thought I was going to break something. So I took her and sat her down and said, 'What are you doing to yourself with these drugs?' I looked in her eyes and she dropped her head and said, 'I just like doing this,'" Jones told the paper on Saturday.
Jones maintained, again, that she had never been bothered by Amy's temporary co-opting of the Dap-Kings.
"She didn't steal my band and she didn't start a movement," Sharon said.
Refering to her appearance in Denzel Washington's 2007 film The Great Debaters, she said "I would always laugh and say, the guys can run around with Amy 'cause I'm running around with Denzel."
Sharon Jones can be counted among those who, while saddened by the news of Amy's death, were not shocked.
"She was a very sad young woman," Sharon said. "She said she wanted to be married and have babies. I think that's why she would hide behind her drinking before she started with the drugs.
"My prayers have been out for her and they're going to stay out for her...She had such great talent. We have nothing but love for her."