Tony Bennett, whose birth name is Anthony Dominick Benedetto, stood as a prominent American singer throughout his career. His achievements were nothing short of remarkable, having received an impressive collection of 20 Grammy Awards, a prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, and two Primetime Emmy Awards.
Age- 96 years
Height- 1.71 m
Born- 3 August 1926
Birthplace- Long Island City, New York, United States
Death- 21 July 2023
Profession-Singer, Actor, Writer
Spouse- Susan Crow (m. 2007), Patricia Beech (m. 1952–1971)
Children: Danny Bennett, Antonia Bennett, Dae Bennett, Joanna Bennett
On August 3, 1926, Anthony Dominick Benedetto, known professionally as Tony Bennett, came into the world at St. John’s Hospital in Long Island City, Queens, New York City. His parents, John Benedetto, a grocer, and Anna (née Suraci), a seamstress, welcomed their first child in a hospital, a significant event for their family. John had immigrated from the rural eastern district of Podargoni in the southern Italian city of Reggio Calabria in 1906, while Anna was born in the U.S. shortly after her parents also made the journey from the Calabria region in 1899.
On February 12, 1952, Tony Bennett tied the knot with Patricia Beech, an art student from Ohio and a jazz enthusiast whom he had met the previous year after one of his nightclub performances in Cleveland. The wedding ceremony took place at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan, New York, where an intriguing sight unfolded outside the venue as two thousand female fans dressed in black gathered, playfully mourning the loss of their heartthrob bachelor.
Together, Tony and Patricia had two sons named D’Andrea (Danny, born 1954) and Daegal (Dae, born 1955). However, their marriage began to face challenges as Bennett’s demanding schedule and extensive time on the road contributed to the strain, among other factors. Eventually, in 1965, Bennett and Patricia separated, and their marriage came to an end when Patricia filed for divorce on grounds of adultery in 1969. The divorce was finalized in 1971.
Subsequently, in 1965, during the filming of The Oscar, Tony Bennett became involved with aspiring actress Sandra Grant. The couple chose to live together and quietly tied the knot on December 29, 1971, in New York. They moved to Los Angeles and welcomed two daughters named Joanna (born 1970) and Antonia (born 1974). However, their marriage lasted until 1983.
In the late 1980s, Tony Bennett found love once again and entered into a lasting romantic relationship with Susan Crow, a former New York City schoolteacher.
Tony Bennett started his career as a crooner of pop tunes, achieving early hits like “Because of You” and “Cold, Cold Heart.” He continued to succeed with songs like “Rags to Riches” and “Stranger in Paradise.” Despite the challenges of the rock and roll era, Bennett remained popular, scoring more Billboard Top 40 hits in the late 1950s. He also hosted television variety shows during this time.
A growing artistry
In 1954, Chuck Wayne became Bennett’s musical director. His first jazz-leaning album, “Cloud 7,” was released in 1955. Ralph Sharon took over as musical director in 1957, urging Bennett to focus on jazz. The successful album “The Beat of My Heart” featured renowned jazz musicians. Bennett collaborated with Count Basie, and their albums received critical acclaim. In 1962, Bennett’s Carnegie Hall concert was a major success. His recording of “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” became his signature song and won Grammy Awards. Despite the rise of rock, Bennett continued to release successful albums. He participated in the Civil Rights Movement and refused to perform in apartheid South Africa.
Years of struggle
In 1965, Ralph Sharon and Bennett parted ways. Bennett faced pressure to record contemporary rock songs but was reluctant and struggled with the results. His album “Tony Sings the Great Hits of Today!” was a disappointment. He later recalled his dismay at being asked to do such material. In 1972, he moved to the Verve division of MGM Records and tried various approaches, including more Beatles material, but saw no commercial success. After starting his own record company, Improv, he recorded some songs that became favorites, but the label eventually went out of business. By the late 1970s, Bennett had no recording contract, no manager, and faced personal challenges, including a drug addiction and financial difficulties.
After a close call with a cocaine overdose in 1979, Bennett reached out to his sons Danny and Dae for help. Danny, realizing his talent for business, became his father’s manager. He got Bennett’s finances in order, moved him back to New York City, and shifted his performances away from a Vegas-style image. Together with pianist Ralph Sharon, Bennett made a successful comeback, and in 1986, he was re-signed to Columbia Records with creative control. His album “The Art of Excellence” marked his return to the charts after a gap since 1972. Moreover, his rendition of Henry Mancini’s theme song “Life in a Looking Glass” from the movie “That’s Life” received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song in 1986.
Danny Bennett believed that younger audiences would respond to his father’s music if given the chance. Tony’s classic style and song choices from the Great American Songbook remained unchanged. Danny started booking Tony on shows like Late Night with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Sesame Street, The Simpsons, and MTV programs, connecting him with a new, younger fanbase. Tony’s appearances on MTV Unplugged and the resulting album brought him even more success, winning Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards. Tony Bennett’s career prospered, and he continued to record, tour, and perform in films. He received numerous awards and honors, including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and a Kennedy Center Honor. Tony also engaged in charitable activities, frequently donating his time to various causes.
Later years and final album
On his 80th birthday, Tony Bennett received extensive publicity, which continued throughout the following year. His album “Duets: An American Classic” achieved great success on the charts and won two Grammy Awards. He appeared on various shows and specials, including “Saturday Night Live” with Alec Baldwin and “Tony Bennett: An American Classic” on NBC. Bennett received numerous awards and honors, including the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award. He continued to perform, record, and collaborate with various artists, including Billy Joel and Lady Gaga. In 2011, he released “Duets II” and “Viva Duets,” featuring collaborations with various singers. His album “Cheek to Cheek” with Lady Gaga debuted at number one on the Billboard charts, making him the oldest artist to achieve this feat. Bennett remained active in the music industry even after his official retirement, continuing to rehearse and record. He passed away on August 6, 2021, leaving behind a remarkable musical legacy.
- Rags to Riches
- I Left My Heart In San Fran…
- New York State of Mind
- I’ve Got You Under My Skin
- Body and Soul
- Love for Sale
- The Very Thought Of You
- Cheek to Cheek
- The Way You Look Tonight
- For Once in My Life
- The Lady Is a Tramp
- I Get a Kick Out of You
- The Shadow of Your Smile
- Stranger in Paradise
- Love Is Here To Stay
- Night and Day
- Fly Me to the Moon
- Return To Me
- The Good Life Yesterday I Heard the Rain
- Who Can I Turn To
- The Girl I Love
- In 1963, Tony Bennett received his first Grammy nominations for his album “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” in the categories of Album of the Year (Other Than Classical) and Best Solo Vocal Performance, Male. He won the awards for Record of the Year and Best Solo Vocal Performance, Male.
- In 1964, he was nominated for Record of the Year and Best Vocal Performance, Male for the song “I Wanna Be Around.”
- In 1965, Bennett received nominations for Best Vocal Performance, Male for “Who Can I Turn” and for Record of the Year and Best Vocal Performance, Male for “The Shadow of Your Smile (Love Theme From ‘The Sandpiper’).”
- In 1991, he received a Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Male for the album “Astoria: Portrait of the Artist.”
- In 1993, Bennett won Grammy Awards for his albums “Perfectly Frank” and “Steppin’ Out” in the category of Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance. He also won for the album “MTV Unplugged” in the categories of Album of the Year and Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance, and received a nomination for Best Pop Vocal Collaboration for “Moonglow” with k.d. lang.
- In 1997, Bennett won a Grammy Award for his album “Here’s To The Ladies” in the category of Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance.
- -In 1998, he won a Grammy for the album “Tony Bennett On Holiday” in the category of Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance, and received a nomination for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for “God Bless The Child” with Billie Holiday.
- In 1999, Bennett received a Grammy nomination for Best Musical Album for Children for “Tony Bennett: The Playground.”
- In 2000, he won a Grammy Award for the album “Bennett Sings Ellington: Hot & Cool” in the category of Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance.
- In 2002, Bennett received a Lifetime Achievement Award and a nomination for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for “New York State Of Mind” with Billy Joel.
- In 2003, he won a Grammy for the album “Playin’ with My Friends: Bennett Sings the Blues” in the category of Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album, and received a nomination for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for “What A Wonderful World” with k. d. lang.
- In 2004, Bennett won a Grammy for the album “A Wonderful World” with k. d. lang in the category of Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album, and received a nomination for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for “La Vie En Rose” with k. d. lang.
- In 2006, he won a Grammy for the album “The Art Of Romance” in the category of Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album.
- In 2007, Bennett won a Grammy for the album “Duets: An American Classic” in the category of Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album, and also won for the song “For Once in My Life” with Stevie Wonder in the category of Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.
- In 2008, he received a Grammy nomination for the song “Steppin’ Out with My Baby” with Christina Aguilera in the category of Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.
- In 2010, Bennett received a Grammy nomination for the album “A Swingin’ Christmas” in the category of Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album.
- In 2012, he won a Grammy for the album “Duets II” in the category of Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album, and also won for the song “Body And Soul” with Amy Winehouse in the category of Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.
- In 2014, Bennett received a Grammy nomination for the album “Viva Duets” in the category of Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album.
- In 2015, he won a Grammy for the album “Cheek To Cheek” with Lady Gaga in the category of Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album.
- In 2016, Bennett won a Grammy for the album “The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern” with Bill Charlap in the category of Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album.
- In 2019, he received a Grammy nomination for the album “Love Is Here To Stay” with Diana Krall in the category of Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album, and also received a nomination for the song “‘S Wonderful” with Diana Krall in the category of Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.
- In 2022, Bennett won a Grammy for the album “Love For Sale” with Lady Gaga in the category of Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. He also received nominations for Record of the Year, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, and Best Music Video for the song “I Get a Kick Out of You” with Lady Gaga.
Net Worth 2023
At the time of his passing, Tony Bennett’s net worth was approximately $200 million, a remarkable achievement for an artist who had sold over 50 million records throughout his illustrious career!
Cause Of Death
Tony Bennett, the smooth American singer renowned for his timeless hit “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” and his everlasting charm that endeared him to younger generations of fans well into the 21st century, has passed away, according to his publicist.
Bennett, who was 96 years old, breathed his last at his residence in New York City due to age-related causes, as stated by his publicist Sylvia Weiner.
Back in the 1950s, Tony Bennett’s talent earned him praise from none other than Frank Sinatra, who referred to him as “the best singer in the business” during his days as a singing waiter. The legendary singer went on to accumulate an impressive collection of 20 Grammy Awards, including a prestigious lifetime achievement award.
President Joe Biden paid tribute to Bennett, describing his life as “legendary,” acknowledging that Bennett’s influence extended beyond merely singing classics; he himself was an American classic.
As he aged, Tony Bennett continued to expand the diversity of his musical collaborations. In his late 80s, he recorded a notable 2014 album of duets with the unconventional Lady Gaga, embarking on a world tour alongside her in 2015. Throughout his career, he joined forces with a wide range of artists, including former Beatle Paul McCartney, soul queen Aretha Franklin, country star Willie Nelson, and U2’s Bono, among others.
The celebration of Bennett’s 90th birthday took place in 2016, with a grand party in New York attended by celebrities like Bruce Willis and John Travolta. In his honor, the Empire State Building illuminated the skyline with a dazzling light show. Additionally, he shared his life story through the publication of his memoir titled “Just Getting Started” in the same year.
In early 2021, Bennett bravely disclosed that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease back in 2016. Despite the diagnosis, he continued to record music, expressing on Twitter that “Life is a gift – even with Alzheimer’s.”
Unfortunately, due to his health condition, Bennett bid farewell to the stage after his concerts at New York’s Radio City Music Hall on August 3 and 5, 2021, marking the end of an era for the beloved American singer.
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