Iconic crooner Tony Bennett has died at the age of 96. He is two weeks away from his 97th birthday.
Born in Long Island City, Queens in 1926, the celebrated musician, who enjoyed a decades-long career collaborating with everyone from Frank Sinatra to Lady Gaga, died Friday in his hometown of New York, spokeswoman Sylvia Weiner confirmed.
The cause of death has not been revealed, but Bennett Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016a condition he fought privately for five years before revealing it to the world in 2021.
At the time, Bennett continued to sing with perfect pitch and dynamism, but it was revealed in 2018 that he began to show symptoms of mental decline and struggled with memory.
In fact, Bennett continued to perform for years after his diagnosis, releasing a new album with close friend and collaborator Lady Gaga in September 2021.
in April, Bennett was spotted in New York City in a wheelchair This is believed to have been his last public appearance before his death.
Legendary crooner Tony Bennett dies at 96
Bennett (pictured in 1952) began singing at a young age and signed his first record deal in the early 1950s after serving in the U.S. Army during World War II.
The crooner was photographed moving around New York City in a wheelchair in April, one of his last public appearances.
The last great bar singer of the mid-20th century, Bennett often said that his lifelong ambition was to make “a hit catalog, not a hit record.”
In his lifetime, he released more than 70 albums and won 19 Grammy Awards (all but two were in his 60s). And he enjoyed the adoration of millions of fans around the world.
Bennett did not tell his story during the performance. Instead, he let the music of the Gershwin family, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and Jerome Kern speak for themselves.
Unlike his friend and mentor Sinatra, he was an interpreter rather than an embodiment.
Even if his singing and public appearances lacked the high drama of Sinatra, Bennett was charming with his easygoing, courteous demeanor and his extraordinarily rich and persistent voice.
A self-proclaimed tenor who sings like a baritone, his skills have made him a master at caressing ballads and brightening up-tempo numbers.
“I like to entertain the audience and make them forget their problems,” he told the Associated Press in 2006.
“I just want to put people in a good mood by performing.”
Bennett was often praised by his colleagues, but none was more meaningful than Sinatra’s remarks in a 1965 Life magazine interview. I get excited when I see him. he moves me
“He’s a singer who understands perhaps more than what composers think.”
Over the course of her career, Bennett has collaborated with a number of celebrities, from Rosemary Clooney (left) to Liza Minnelli (right).
Perhaps his most famous collaboration is with his best friend Lady Gaga, with whom he has worked many times and the two will release an album together in September 2021.
Not only did he survive the rise of rock music, but he endured it so long and well that he gained new fans and collaborators, some young enough to have grandchildren.
In 2014, at the age of 88, Bennett broke his own record as the oldest living performer when he scored a No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart with his duet project Cheek to Cheek with Lady Gaga.
Three years ago, he topped the charts with “Duets II,” his last studio recording featuring contemporary stars like Gaga, Carrie Underwood and Amy Winehouse.
Winehouse’s relationship was captured in the Oscar-nominated documentary Amy, which depicts Bennett patiently encouraging an anxious young singer through a performance of “Body and Soul.”
His final album, 2021’s Love for Sale, featured a duet with Lady Gaga on the title track “Night and Day” and other Porter songs.
Amy Winehouse’s last studio recording was with Tony Bennett. Her relationship with Winehouse is documented in the Oscar-nominated documentary Amy.
His final album, Love for Sale, out in 2021, features a duet with Lady Gaga on the title track “Night and Day” and other Porter songs.
For Bennett, one of the few performers who could transition between pop and jazz with ease, such collaborations were part of a campaign to introduce new audiences to what he called “The Great American Songbook.”
“No country has given the world more music than this,” Bennett said in a 2015 Downbeat interview. “Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern. Those songs never go away.
Ironically, his most famous contributions came through two obscure figures, George Corley and Douglas Cross, who provided Bennett with signature songs during a period of career stagnation in the early ’60s. They gave the sheet music to Bennett’s music director, pianist Ralph Sharon, who stashed it in a closet drawer and forgot about it until he was preparing for a tour that included a stop in San Francisco.
“Ralph found sheet music in his shirt drawer…and at the top of that pile was the song ‘I Left My Heart In San Francisco.’ Ralph thought this would be good material for San Francisco,” said Bennett.
“When we were rehearsing, a bartender at a club in Little Rock, Arkansas said, ‘If you record that song, I’ll be the first to buy it.'”
Released in 1962 as the B-side of the single “Once Upon a Time,” this introspective ballad became a grassroots phenomenon, remaining on the charts for over two years and earning Bennett his first two Grammy Awards, including Record of the Year.
By his early 40s, he looked unfashionable. But after turning 60, at a time when even the most popular artists are often content to please older fans, Bennett and his son and manager Danny found creative ways to market the singer to the MTV generation.
He guest-starred on ‘Late Night With David Letterman’ and became a celebrity guest artist on ‘The Simpsons’.
He wore a black t-shirt and sunglasses as a presenter with the Red Hot Chili Peppers at the 1993 MTV Music Video Awards, and his own video, “Steppin’ Out With My Baby,” from the Grammy-winning Fred Astaire tribute album, was eventually adapted for MTV’s hipster “Buzz Bin.”
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12323919/Tony-Bennett-dead-96-Legendary-crooner-sold-millions-records-world.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Tony Bennett Dies At 96: Legendary Crooner Best Known For ‘Rag To Riches’, Frank Sinatra, Lady Gaga, Sold Millions Of Records Worldwide