Tony Bennett performs onstage at the SeriousFun Children’s Network Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on April 2, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
OAN’s Sophia Flores
10:05 AM – Friday, July 21, 2023
Tony Bennett, the legendary American singer who has won over 20 Grammy awards, has passed away at the age of 96. He was less than two weeks shy of his 97th birthday.
Bennett died at his home in New York City. His publicist Sylvia Weiner revealed that he passed away due to age-related causes.
He has been an influence to many famous musicians. Frank Sinatra, one of the world’s best selling music artists called Bennett “the best singer in the business.” Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, who uses the stage name ‘Lady Gaga,’ credited the singing waiter with saving her life and stopping her from quitting music. The pair, who became good friends, recorded two albums together, ‘Cheek to Cheek.’ and “Love for Sale.”
The singer was born on August 3, 1936 as Anthony Dominick Benedetto, in Astoria in the Queens borough of New York City. He rose to stardom in the 1950’s. He began singing professionally soon after he completed his Army service. He served during World War II. During his time in the Army, he helped liberate a concentration camp in Germany.
Under the stage name of Joe Barri, he began singing for the 314th Army Special Services Band. In 1949, Bennett met the actor and singer Bob Hope who gave him the stage name, Tony Bennett and encouraged him to tour. pic.twitter.com/kraiGPFCwf
— U.S. Army (@USArmy) July 21, 2023
The iconic crooner has many hits. In the totality of his career, he released more than 70 albums. Some of his most popular solo songs includes ‘Everybody Has The Blues’ and ‘I Left My Heart In San Francisco.’
🎶- I’m going home to my city by the Bay. I left my heart in San Francisco. High on a hill, it calls to me. To be where little cable cars climb halfway to the stars. The morning fog may chill the air, I don’t care. My love waits there in San Francisco. 🖤pic.twitter.com/Rg2AqTTKLu
— Bar 🙂 (@Brenda_p0p) July 21, 2023
He has released many duets with a variety of female artists including one with the late Amy Winehouse. Bennett recorded ‘I’ve Got You Under My Skin’ with Lady Gaga, who he would often refer to as ‘Lady.’
Bennett retired from music in 2021, five years after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. His last concert was in 2021 at Radio City Music Hall. While he had the medical condition at the time, it had no effect on his singing as he would come alive when he sang and commanded the stage.
“When that music comes on (SNAP), it’s– something happens to him,” Gaga said. “He knows exactly what he’s doing. And what’s important for me, actually, just to make sure that I don’t get in the way of that.”
Tonight’s the night 🎶 🎵 🎤
The legendary Radio City Music Hall in New York hosts Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga to celebrate Bennett’s iconic legacy one final time.
📺 One Last Time: An Evening With Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, tonight at midnight on @channel5_tv pic.twitter.com/Mu8CmYWkjL
— Channel 5 (@channel5_tv) January 21, 2022
A tribute on his Instagram page let his fans know that was still singing until the very end. The last song he was was hit first number one hit.
“Tony left us today but he was still singing the other day at his piano and his last song was, ‘Because of You,’ his first #1 hit. Tony, because of you we have your songs in our heart forever.”
He is survived by his wife Susan, his daughters Johnanna and Antonia, his sons Danny and Dae and nine grandchildren.
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