He fought in World War II and delighted audiences for over 70 years, as an artist, Bennett never got stuck in time, and throughout his career he always appreciated new artists and genres, which contributed for his intact popularity to this day.
Tony Bennett 1926-2023
He was one of the last surviving living legends of the golden crooning and jazz era and never thought of retiring, he continued as prolific as ever and also outspoken until the day he died, Tony Bennett dies at age 96 and leaves us with a golden and uncompromised legacy in music.
Tony Bennett was born Anthony Dominick Benedetto in New York City on August 3, 1926. Bennett began singing at an early age and still fought in the final stages of World War II as a U.S. Army infantryman in Europe. After the war he begun his professional career as a singer, and after being signed to Colombia Records he scored his first No.1 in 1951 with “Because of You”. Throughout the 1950’s he released several hit songs and gained popularity worldwide as one of the biggest music stars of that era with songs such as “Rags to Riches”. During that period he started to engage into Jazz with albums like “The Beat of My Heart” and “Basie Swings, Bennett Sings”. In 1962 he released what would become his signature song, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”. But due to the increasing popularity of Rock music during the 1960’s, Bennett’s career suffered a extended downturn, despite continuing to release new albums and songs. It was in the early 1990’s that surprisingly his music had a strong resurgence, supported by many of the Alternative Rock artists at the time who praised Bennett and performed alongside the legend, unexpectedly, Bennett started to reach a younger audience who had never heard his music or even about him. As an artist, Bennett never got stuck in time, and throughout his career he always appreciated new artists and genres, which contributed for his intact popularity to this day. By releasing the album “Duets” in 2006 he once again reached for newer generations by performing together his songs with both classic artists and new artists, and in 2011 he released “Duets II”, one of his best selling albums where he sings together with Aretha Franklin, Willie Nelson but also contemporary singers including Amy Winehouse, Queen Latifah and Lady Gaga. Tony Bennett never thought of retiring, he continued as prolific as ever and also outspoken, when in 2012, in the wake of the premature deaths of Winehouse and Whitney Houston which he admired, he called for the legalization of drugs. His last album was “Love Is Here to Stay” with contemporary Jazz artist Diana Krall in 2018. Tony Bennett passed away on July, 21 at age 96. A life well lived. RIP.
Watch Tony Bennett performing “Body and Soul” with Amy Winehouse
Look back at Tony Bennett performing his signature song “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” in 1963 with Judy Garland at her TV show
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