Natalie Cole defends comments on Amy Winehouse and 2008 Grammys

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WASHINGTON - Natalie Cole says she wishes now that she had been wrong about her feelings. But she says she doesn't take back her criticism of the Grammys having Amy Winehouse come out of rehab to perform and accept her awards at the 2008 ceremony.

Cole said at the time that having Winehouse leave rehab to come to the show sent the wrong message to her fans and sent the wrong message about the seriousness of kicking a drug habit. Cole should know - she was a heroin user and says trying to get off drugs "is no joke."

She said then - and now - that Winehouse could have been presented the awards later, when she was better. Cole says people who criticized her have since apologized - and she says she wishes she had been wrong about Winehouse's fate.

At the same time, she doesn't believe it was the singer's Grammy appearance that directly lead to her eventual death from alcohol poisoning.

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