Old friend of Amy Winehouse exhibits her portraits in Camden

A celebrity artist and long-term friend of Amy Winehouse is holding an exhibition of portraits of the late soul legend this weekend.

Sam Shaker will be exhibiting 36 paintings worth up to �10,000 at Camden Art Gallery in Chalk Farm.

He had known Amy ever since she first started singing in his Soho jazz venue, aged 16.

“She came to my club and the admission charge was �3. She said she didn’t have �3, so I told her she could pay me next time,” said Mr Shaker.

The friendship blossomed over the years and Amy began to regard Mr Shaker as her “second dad”.

“She never forgot her friends and people like me who gave her a helping hand in her career. She was very loyal to me and never commissioned any other artist to paint her portrait,” said Mr Shaker.

Having studied fine arts he had limited success as an artist before a chance encounter with Kate Moss gave him new inspiration and helped him turn his career around.

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The model commissioned him to paint her portrait and after that he quickly established himself as a celebrity artist.

Proud Galleries in Camden will also be holding an exhibition next month featuring Amy Winehouse and other rock stars who died young.

The Day the Music Died, which runs from December 14, celebrates the lives of the Forever 27 Club - a group of artists, including Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, who died aged 27.

Mr Shaker’s exhibition at Camden Art Gallery in Chalk Farm Road is from Friday (November 11) to Sunday (November 14) from 10am-8pm.