ENTERTAINMENT

Tony Bennett, Legendary Musician, Dead at 96

The world of entertainment has lost a true icon.

Tony Bennett, a 20-time Grammy Award winner and one of the most respected artists in the history of music, has passed away.

He was 96 years old.

Bennett’s long-time publicist, Sylvia Weiner, confirmed the sad news on Friday morning.

Tony Bennett performs on stage during an invitation only concert at the newly opened Encore Boston Harbor Casino in Everett, Massachusetts on August 8, 2019. (Getty)

“Tony Bennett, born Anthony Dominick Benedetto in Astoria, Queens on August 3, 1926, has passed away in his hometown of New York City at the age of 96 earlier today,” she said in a statement.

“The beloved singer, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2016, is survived by his wife, Susan Benedetto, his two sons, Danny and Dae Bennett, his daughters Johanna Bennett and Antonia Bennett and 9 grandchildren.”

Bennett’s loved ones confirmed in January 2021 that the singer had been quietly living with Alzheimer’s disease since 2016.

Tony Bennett performs onstage at the Statue Of Liberty Museum Opening Celebration on May 15, 2019 at Ellis Island in New York City. (Getty)

Born in Queens, Bennett was drafted into the United States Army in 1944 and returned to this country in 1946.

Following his discharge, Bennett embarked on what would become a truly astounding musical career, which he began as an opening act for singer Pearl Bailey in 1949.

The artist’s career took off with his 1951 hit, “Because of You,” and simply went up from there from there… with the musician releasing over 70 albums throughout his career.

His best known track is likely “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.”

Tony Bennett poses for a photograph with Mark Seliger during LG Signature at the American Ballet Theatre Fall Gala 2019 on October 16, 2019 in New York City. (Getty)

In 2017, Bennett was honored with The Library Of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, making him the first “interpretive singer” to win the honor.

Bennett was also the recipient of two Primetime Emmy Awards (for performances in 1996 and 2007, respectively) and he helmed his own Saturday-night television variety show on NBC called The Tony Bennett Show in 1956.

In addition to his individual releases, Bennett was known for frequent collaborations with notable artists throughout the years including Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Amy Winehouse and more recently, Lady Gaga.

Tony Bennett attends The Art Students League’s 2019 Gala at The Edition Hotel on November 04, 2019 in New York City. (Getty)

“I enjoy entertaining the audience, making them forget their problems,” Bennett told The Associated Press in 2006.

“I think people … are touched if they hear something that’s sincere and honest and maybe has a little sense of humor. … I just like to make people feel good when I perform.

The musician is survived by his wife, Susan Benedetto, his two sons, Danny and Dae Bennett, his daughters Johanna Bennett and Antonia Bennett and nine grandchildren.

May Tony Bennett rest in peace.


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