Photo: Tom Beetz

Tony Bennett Is 96 Years Old Today

Born Anthony Dominick Benedetto on August 3, 1926, in Astoria, Queens, the iconic crooner professionally known as Tony Bennett is a Grammy and Emmy Award winner, a Gershwin Award and Kennedy Center honoree and an accomplished visual artist with three of his original paintings in the Smithsonian Institute’s permanent collection.

In the words of former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2021 “Music and the arts have long been an essential piece of the fabric of New York, and you would be hard-pressed to find someone who has made more of a contribution in this space than Tony Bennett,” “Not only is Tony a born and bred New Yorker who has been dazzling audiences with beautiful music for more than six decades, but he has always stayed true to his humble New York roots and can always be spotted throughout the City whether he is working on his next painting in Central Park, or just chatting with fans on the street. From growing up as a child of immigrants, to all the contributions he has made to our community, Tony Bennett is a New Yorker in the truest sense of the word and I am honored to proclaim August 3, 2021 as ‘Tony Bennett Day’ in New York.”

As part of his birthday celebrations, last year Columbia Records’ parent company Sony Music Entertainment endowed a bench in Bennett’s name in Central Park. The legendary singer got his start with Columbia Records in 1950 and Central Park is his most cherished spot in all of NYC. The bench is located on the east side of Center Drive when entering the park at Central Park South and Sixth Avenue.

In 2021, Bennett’s family revealed the legendary singer has been battling Alzheimer’s disease for nearly five years.

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Author: Al Denté

Photo: Tom Beetz