Legendary singer and performer Tony Bennett died at the age of 96 on Friday. He died at his home in New York City of age-related causes, his publicist Sylvia Weiner said in a statement.
Anthony Benedetto was born in the Astoria section of Queens, New York on August 3rd, 1926. With a low-key singing style, a friendly manner and enormous charm, he found success in the early 1950s and spent the decade as one of its top stars.
Bennett, who released more than 70 albums and hit the singles chart more than 30 times, had 19 Grammy awards (out of 36 nominations), a pair of Emmys and Kennedy Center Honors. Songs for which he will be remembered include “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” “Who Can I Turn To,” “If I Ruled the World” and “Fly Me to the Moon.”
But rock pushed him aside in the mid-’60s, and it wasn’t until the late ’80s that he was able to get his career momentum back. In 1994, he did an episode of MTV Unplugged and became an unlikely hero to a generation devoted to Nirvana. He never looked back.
Unlike such peers as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Bing Crosby, he managed to remain active, relevant and beloved well into the 21st century. With his son Danny as his manager, he became a popular figure on MTV, and recorded with both Amy Winehouse and Lady Gaga, who he teamed with for the 2014 album and concert tour, Cheek to Cheek. Its success made him the oldest person ever to reach number-one in Billboard. His final album, Love for Sale, released in 2021, is a second collaboration with Gaga.
Tony Bennett, the eminent and timeless stylist whose devotion to classic American songs brought him admirers from Frank Sinatra to Lady Gaga, died Friday. He was 96, just two weeks short of his birthday. pic.twitter.com/cdpqCRmU9W
— The Associated Press (@AP) July 21, 2023
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