Tony Bennett was one of the greatest American singers. This legendary singer was a winner of several awards and accolades in the jazz and pop genres. In his initial years of performance, Bennett sang under the stage name of Joe Bari. Bennett had a stunning career that spanned over 70 years. In 2016, Bennett was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, but he fought the disease gallantly by continuing with his singing. On the 21st of July, 2023, Tony Bennett breathed his last. This blog is all about Tony Bennett’s life story and career highlights. Read along to know more about him.
Tony Bennett’s Biography
Tony Bennett, whose original name was Anthony Dominick Benedetto, was born in 1926. He was the first among his family members to be born in a hospital! He grew up along with an elder brother and sister in Queens, New York. The family lived in poverty, and Bennett lost his father when he was just 10.
Right from his childhood, Bennett listened to famous singers, such as Al Jolson, Judy Garland, Joe Venuti, and Louis Armstrong. By 10, Bennett was well into singing, and he performed excellently at the opening of the Triborough Bridge, which is now called the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge. He sang on stage by standing beside Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, who patted Bennett’s head encouragingly.
Tony Bennett excelled in American jazz and pop.
- A. True
- B. False
Tony Bennett continued to sing through his teenage years. When he wasn’t singing, he waited tables. Years later, he studied painting and music at New York’s School of Industrial Art. But Bennett had to drop out when he was just 16 because he had to work to support his family. And, he did it by working at several low-paying jobs.
During World War II, Bennett served in the U.S. Army, but war was nothing more than “legalized murder” for him.
Tony Bennett’s Iconic Performances
Bennett’s first No.1 song was “Because of You.” He went on to make hit songs, such as “Blue Velvet,” and “Rags to Riches.” However, his signature song and one of the greatest hits of 1962 was “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.”
Tony Bennett was an ardent fan of the famous singer and actor, Frank Sinatra. In 1992, Bennett paid tribute to Sinatra through his song, “Perfectly Frank.”
In his later years, Bennett worked with artists much younger than him. It was in 2014 that he collaborated with Lady Gaga on an album called, “Cheek to Cheek,” which became an instant success. Among Tony Bennett’s collaborations, “Cheek to Cheek” became one of the best.
Tony Bennett’s Personal Life
Bennett first married Patricia Beech at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan. While the ceremony took place, two thousand female fans of Bennett gathered outside the cathedral. And, they were all dressed in black, demonstrating a mock mourning scene. Bennett and Patricia had two sons. However, they divorced in 1971.
Bennett fell in love with actress, Sandra Grant, and they lived together for many years. Later, the duo tied the knot and had two daughters.
Tony Bennett’s third marriage was to Susan Crow, a former school teacher. The couple founded a public high school called Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Queens.
Tony Bennett’s Death
Bennette battled with Alzheimer’s disease for seven years. It mainly affected his short-term memory, whereas his long-term memory was intact till the end. Bennett’s singing practices and touring schedules were enough to keep his brain stimulated. But death was inevitable because of his age-related complications. Tony Bennett was 96 when he passed away at his home in New York City.
That’s all you need to know about Tony Bennett’s life story and career highlights. Tony Bennet might not be with us today, but the legacy he has left behind will live on for generations to come.