Photo: Tom Beetz

Legendary Singer Tony Bennett: Dead At 96

On Friday morning (7.21,) following a multiple-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease, the iconic pop and jazz crooner Tony Bennett passed away in New York City at the age of 96.

Born Anthony Dominick Benedetto, the legendary singer (who was renamed Tony Bennett by Bob Hope,) released his debut LP, Because of You, in 1952 and went on to chart his recordings throughout every subsequent decade of his life.

Perhaps best known for his 1962 signature song ‘I Left My Heart in San Francisco,’ over his eight-decade career, Bennett took home 20 Grammys, including the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001, released more than 70 full lengths, and sold more than 50,000,000 records worldwide. 

During the latter part of his career Tony enjoyed renewed recognition due to his collaborations with Lady Gaga, with whom he released the 2014 jazz standards LP, Cheek to Cheek, and the 2021 follow-up, Love for Sale. 

Gaga and Bennett went on tour to promote the former album, which made Tony the oldest living act to reach #1 on the Billboard album chart, and for the second release, the elder statesman earned a Guinness World Record for becoming the oldest musician to release a collection of new material.

In 2016, Bennett was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s but chose not to go public with his condition until 2021 when he went on to perform his final shows alongside Lady Gaga later that year at Manhattan’s Radio City Music Hall.

Tony Bennett, who was married three times, is survived by his children Danny (his manager,) Dae, Joanna and Antonia and his third wife Susan Crow.

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Author: Saul Goode

Photo: Tom Beetz