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Bryan Adams ‘tried to save’ Princess Diana and Amy Winehouse

Bryan Adams attempted to help late singer Amy Winehouse kick her drug and alcohol abuse, and also hoped he could help Princess Diana before her untimely death in 1997.

The Canadian artist, 64, once flew the British singer out to his six-bedroom villa in Mustique for Christmas in 2007, at the height of her addiction struggles.

Winehouse, who rose to fame with her hit singles including “Rehab” and “Back to Black”, died from alcohol poisoning aged 27 in July 2011.

Recalling Winehouse’s chaotic visit to his home, Adams – who met her during a photoshoot – claimed that the fellow musician swallowed around £2,000 of heroin wraps on the flight out, and sulked when he and his mother served her vegan food and carrot and beetroot juice.

“I met Amy when I photographed her, and we became friends, he told The Sunday Times.“So I invited her to spend the holidays with my family. Sure, I tried to help her but, you know, it’s got to come from within.

“I really don’t know what happened with Amy and it is so sad because she was so, so talented and I so admired her individuality massively. But did I make a difference? I don’t know.”

Amy Winehouse died aged 27 (Getty)
Amy Winehouse died aged 27 (Getty)

Grammy winner Adams, known for classic rock songs such as “Summer of ‘69”, also enjoyed “really good conversations” with Princess Diana, whom he met after releasing a tongue-in-cheek track, “Diana”, about her marriage to the then-Prince Charles.

Asked whether he believed he could help her, he responded: “Maybe, a bit. We had a lot of really, really good conversations, I have to tell you. In fact it’s strange and surreal to think about.

“I really, really liked Diana, she was an amazing woman and a super-great inspiration. Meeting her was truly one of the greatest things that ever happened to me.”

Diana apparently found the song, a B-side to his 1984 single “Heaven”, highly amusing – even though the lyrics despaired at her marriage to the future King Charles.

The lyrics include the lines: “He might have lots of dough/ But I know he ain’t right for you.”

Later, Adams pleads on the chorus: “Diana, she’s the queen of all my dreams / Diana, give me a chance, I’ll set ya free!”

 (Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty)
(Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty)

Adams called the lyrics “laddish humour” and revealed he was actually inspired by  “that guy who [had] broken into the Queen’s bedroom and sat on her bed smoking a fag”.

Painter and decorator Michael Fagan notoriously broke into the late Queen Elizabeth II’s bedroom one night in 1982, where she discovered him and raised the alarm.

Adams said he and Diana met for the first time on a plane , where he informed her that he’d used her name in a song. She responded: “Yes, I know, very funny. Actually, I’d like to hear it again.”

Adams then sent a copy of the track over to Kensington Palace and found himself with an invitation to tea.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

“When I first went round to KP (Kensington Palace) she wasn’t, like ‘I really need to talk to somebody’, and you don’t bulldoze into someone’s life wanting to know everything in the first 10 minutes,” Adams said.

“It was ‘let’s have a cup of tea’. But later the more friendly we got the more I learnt what was really going on.”

Adams’ friendship with Diana led to speculation during the Nineties that they were having an affair. These rumours were fuelled in 2003 when his ex-girlfriend, Danish actor and model Cecile Thompson, said her “stormy” relationship with the musician wasn’t made any easier by “Bryan’s affair with Diana”.

After their wedding at St Paul’s Cathedral in London in 1981, Diana had two sons with Charles – Prince William and Prince Harry – before the couple separated in 1992. Their divorce was finalised in 1996.

Adams has never addressed the affair rumours.

He retired “Diana” when she died in 1997 “out of respect”, he said.

His co-writer, Jim Vallance, once complained that the British press attempted to “fabricate a scandal” over the song when Charles and Diana visited Vancouver in May 1986.

“Not only did Bryan have a secret and very inappropriate ‘crush’ on the Princess, the British press claimed, but he had insulted the future King of England (and Canada by association) with lyrics like ‘Whatcha doin' with a guy like him?’” Vallance recalled in the “story behind the song” section of his website.

“It was front page news in Canada and the UK.”

He continued: “In the time of Henry VIII a song like this might have got us beheaded, but Charles didn't pose any such a threat — and anyway, he was about to get into enough trouble on his own with revelations about his mistress Camilla Parker-Bowles and the eventual collapse of his marriage to Diana.”

King Charles and Queen Camilla on the balcony of Buckingham Palace following their coronation this year (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
King Charles and Queen Camilla on the balcony of Buckingham Palace following their coronation this year (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Vallance also remembered when he and Adams were living in London, a few months before the Vancouver World’s Fair, when they were offered tickets to the first ever Prince’s Trust charity concert at the Royal Albert Hall, including a pre-show reception that Charles and Diana would be attending.

“Diana walked over to [rock band] Supertramp while Charles made a bee-line for me and Bryan,” Vallance said of the meeting. “We chatted with the future king for a few moments after which Diana came over to say hello. This was the first time and only time I met her, although there'd be several more occasions for Bryan over the next few years.

“We talked with Diana for a while, mostly about music. She was interested to learn we were Canadian, and she told us that she and Charles were scheduled to appear at the opening of the World's Fair in Vancouver in a few month's time (which, of course, we already knew).”

Bryan Adams with Prince Harry in 2014 (Getty Images)
Bryan Adams with Prince Harry in 2014 (Getty Images)

He added: “Diana was funny and charming and very easy to talk to. Like everyone else on the planet, I was devastated when I heard she'd died. I'm grateful I had the chance to meet her, if only for a few minutes.”

Adams has enjoyed close ties with the royal family for years. A keen photographer, he once took an official portrait of Queen Elizabeth that was then turned into a 49 cent Canadian postage stamp.

His moving photographs of soldiers who had suffered life-changing injuries while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan were also viewed by Prince Harry, at an exhibition held at Somerset House in London in 2014.