Tony Bennett, the iconic pop and jazz singer from New York, has died at the age of 96.
His representatives revealed that just days before his death, he was still singing at his piano, performing his first number-one hit, “Because of You.”
Tributes poured from notable figures such as Sir Elton John, Carole King, and Hillary Clinton, honouring Bennett’s immense talent and contributions to the music industry.
Tony Bennett Early Life and Career
Born Anthony Dominick Benedetto to Italian immigrant parents, Bennett faced early hardships after his father’s death when he was only nine years old.
He pursued a career in music and painting, studying at New York’s School of Industrial Art. After serving in World War Two, Bennett’s singing career took off with his breakthrough hit, “Because of You,” in 1951.
He changed his name to Tony Bennett on the advice of fellow entertainer Bob Hope.
Rise to Fame and Challenges
Bennett became a teenage icon and continued to release chart-topping hits throughout the decades. His rendition of “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” 1962 propelled him to even greater success, earning him two Grammy Awards.
Despite personal challenges, including failed marriages and drug addiction, Bennett persevered and experienced a revival in the 1980s and 1990s.
His album “MTV Unplugged” won the Grammy for Album of the Year in 1994.
Collaborations and Legacy
Throughout his career, Bennett collaborated with numerous artists, from Lady Gaga to Aretha Franklin and Frank Sinatra, who hailed him as the best singer in the business.
In 2014, his joint album with Lady Gaga, “Cheek to Cheek,” topped the US charts, making Bennett the oldest living act to achieve this feat at the age of 88.
His collaborations with younger artists endeared him to new generations of fans.
Personal Life and Philanthropy
Beyond music, Bennett was an accomplished painter, and his artwork was displayed in galleries.
He also founded the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Queens, his hometown. Bennett is survived by his wife Susan Crow and four children.
His enduring legacy as a legendary singer and his contributions to American music will be remembered for generations to come.
Tributes and Condolences
Following the news of Bennett’s passing, tributes poured in from notable figures. Sir Elton John described him as the classiest singer, man, and performer, while Hillary Clinton hailed him as a true talent, gentleman, and friend.
The White House released a statement recognizing Bennett’s enduring contributions to American life. Musicians such as Billy Joel, Nile Rodgers, Ozzy Osbourne, and Keith Richards also expressed their condolences and paid tribute to Bennett’s remarkable career.
Tony Bennett, the legendary singer known for his timeless hits and collaborations, has passed away at the age of 96.
His musical journey spanned eight decades, earning him numerous accolades, including 20 Grammy Awards. Bennett’s influence on the music industry and his ability to captivate audiences with his unique voice and style will forever be cherished.