Troubled singer's dad steps in

Amy Winehouse’s father stood in for her Thursday as the troubled singer won a prestigious music award in London.

She showed up late, “literally as the award was being given to her dad,” says her rep.

“Amy unfortunately couldn’t make it,” Mitch Winehouse told guests at the Ivor Novello Awards, where his daughter took the top song prize for “Love Is a Losing Game.” “She’s getting better, and she sends you all her love.”

On Amy’s behalf, the elder Winehouse thanked family members and friends “who continually send us their love and best wishes all the time and every day.”

He added praise for her manager, Ray Grange, suggesting “he should be awarded the equivalent of a Victoria Cross” – a British medal for bravery on the battlefield.

Once she had shown up, Amy, 24, told the BBC, she was “very well” and “very excited and very flattered” to have won. She also wore a heart-shaped pin in her hair, with her husband Blake’s name on it.

She had received two nominations for best song, and one for best-selling song – only to lose to Beyoncé and Shakira’s “Beautiful Liar.”

Other Winners
Other winners included Phil Collins, who was presented with his international achievement award by Robert Plant; songstress Gabriele, who won the outstanding song collection prize; and Mika, as songwriter of the year.

Mika, the Beirut-born, London-based “Grace Kelly” singer, 24, told PEOPLE that his new album has been on his mind “every morning, every night, every evening. I took a holiday. I lasted four days, I came back and went straight to work. It’s not the point where I can take a holiday now.”

By Liz Corcoran and Stephen M. Silverman