Tony Bennett Biography
Anthony Dominick Benedetto, known professionally as Tony Bennett, is an American singer of traditional pop standards, big band, show tunes, and jazz.
He is also a painter, having created works under the name Anthony Benedetto that are on permanent public display in several institutions. He is the founder of the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria, Queens, New York.
Born and raised in Astoria to an Italian-American family, Bennett began singing at an early age. He fought in the final stages of World War II as a U.S. Army infantryman in the European Theater.
Afterward, he developed his singing technique, signed with Columbia Records and had his first number-one popular song with “Because of You” in 1951. Several top hits such as “Rags to Riches” followed in early 1953. He then refined his approach to encompass jazz singing.
He reached an artistic peak in the late 1950s with albums such as The Beat of My Heart and Basie Swings, Bennett Sings. In 1962, Bennett recorded his signature song, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”. His career and his personal life experienced an extended downturn during the height of the rock music era.
Bennett staged a comeback in the late 1980s and 1990s, putting out gold record albums again and expanding his reach to the MTV Generation while keeping his musical style intact. He remains a popular and critically praised recording artist and concert performer in the 2010s.
He has won 19 Grammy Awards (including a Lifetime Achievement Award, presented in 2001) and two Emmy Awards, and was named an NEA Jazz Master and a Kennedy Center Honoree. Bennett has sold over 50 million records worldwide.
Tony Bennett Age
Anthony Dominick Benedetto is 96 years old as of 2022. He was born on 3 August 1926, in Astoria, New York City, New York, United States
He attended New York’s School of Industrial Art where he studied painting and music and would later appreciate their emphasis on proper technique.
But he dropped out at age 16 to help support his family. He worked as a copy boy and runner for the Associated Press in Manhattan and in several other low-skilled, low-paying jobs.
However, he mostly set his sights on a professional singing career, returning to performing as a singing waiter, playing and winning amateur nights all around the city, and having a successful engagement at a Paramus, New Jersey, nightclub.
- Antonia Bennett
- Dae Bennett
- Danny Bennett
- Joanna Bennett
- Susan Crow
- Sandra Grant Bennett
- Patricia Beech
Tony Bennett Net Worth
Tony Bennett New Worth: Tony Bennett is an American singer and icon who has a net worth of $200 million dollars.
Tony Bennett Life and career
1926–1943: Early life
Anthony Dominick Benedetto was born on August 3, 1926, in the Astoria neighborhood of New York City’s Queens borough to grocer John Benedetto and seamstress Anna Suraci.
In 1906, John had emigrated from Podàrgoni, a rural eastern district of the southern Italian city of Reggio Calabria. Anna had been born in the U.S. shortly after her parents also emigrated from the Calabria region in 1899.
Other relatives came over as well as part of the mass migration of Italians to America. Tony grew up with an older sister, Mary, and an older brother, John Jr. children grew up in poverty.
John Sr. instilled in his son a love of art and literature and a compassion for human suffering, but died when Tony was 10 years old. The experience of growing up in the Great Depression and a distaste for the effects of the Hoover Administration would make the child a lifelong Democrat.
Bennett grew up listening to Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor, Judy Garland, and Bing Crosby as well as jazz artists such as Louis Armstrong, Jack Teagarden, and Joe Venuti.
His Uncle Dick was a tap dancer in vaudeville, giving him an early window into show business, and his Uncle Frank was the Queens borough library commissioner.
By age 10 he was already singing, and performed at the opening of the Triborough Bridge, standing next to Mayor Fiorello La Guardia who patted him on the head.
A drawing was another early passion of his; he became known as the class caricaturist at P.S. 141 and anticipated a career in commercial art.
He began singing for money at age 13, performing as a singing waiter in several Italian restaurants around his native Queens.
Lady Gaga And Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga: Cheek to Cheek Live! is an American concert television special featuring live performances by Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga in support of their collaborative studio album, Cheek to Cheek, released in September 2014.
Cheek to Cheek is a collaborative album by American singers Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga. It was released on September 19, 2014, by Interscope and Columbia Records. Bennett and Gaga first met at the Robin Hood Foundation gala in New York City in 2011.
After the two later recorded together a rendition of “The Lady Is a Tramp”, they began discussing plans for working on a jazz project.Cheek to Cheek consists of jazz standards by popular composers such as George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, and Irving Berlin.
It was inspired by Bennett and Gaga’s desire to introduce the songs to a younger generation since they believed that these tracks had universal appeal.
In January 2013, the album was announced by both artists and started its recording process after Gaga recovered from hip surgery. It was recorded in New York City, where Bennett and Gaga were accompanied by a live band and jazz musicians associated with both artists.
Gaga deviated from her previous contemporary pop albums as she wanted instead to create a jazz record. The release date of the album was delayed multiple times, and the final date was announced by Bennett and Gaga on The Today Show.
The full-length track listing and cover artwork were released thereafter; including the track lists for many alternate editions.
Tony Bennett Songs
- I Left My Heart in San Francisco
- The Lady Is a Tramp
- Rags to Riches
- Stranger In Paradise
- The Shadow of Your Smile
- Because of You
- I Wanna Be Around
- It Doesn’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing
- Anything Goes
- Who Can I Turn To
- Body and Soul
- Just in Time
- If I Ruled the World
- Fly Me to the Moon
- But Beautiful
- The Way You Look Tonight
- Steppin’ Out With My Baby
- I Can’t Give You Anything But Love
- Cold, Cold Heart
- Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
- The Best Is Yet to Come
- Put On a Happy Face
- This Is All I Ask
- The Good Life
- Blue Velvet
- For Once in My Life
- Boulevard of Broken Dreams
- Are You Havin’ Any Fun?
- It Had to Be You
- How Do You Keep the Music Playing
- In the Middle of an Island
- When Do the Bells Ring for Me
Tony Bennett Because Of You
Because of You is the debut album by American singer Tony Bennett. It was originally released in 1952.
2006–present: Bennett continues to perform, turns 90
In August 2006, he turned eighty years old. The birthday itself was an occasion for publicity, which then extended through the rest of the following year.
He received the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ Humanitarian Award.
He made two appearances in 2008 “New York State of Mind” with Billy Joel at the final concerts given at Shea Stadium, and in October released the album A Swingin’ Christmas with The Count Basie Big Band, for which he made a number of promotional appearances at holiday time.
In 2009, he performed at the conclusion of the final Macworld Conference & Expo for Apple Inc., singing “The Best Is Yet to Come” and “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” to a standing ovation, and later making his Jazz Fest debut in New Orleans.
He was one of over 70 artists singing on “We Are the World 25 for Haiti”, a charity single in aid of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. In October he performed “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” at AT&T Park before the third inning of Game 1 of the 2010 World Series and sang “God Bless America” during the seventh-inning stretch.
Days later he sang “America the Beautiful” at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear in Washington, D.C.
Bennett in concert in Santa Ynez, California, 2005
In September 2011, Bennett appeared on The Howard Stern Show and named American military actions in the Middle East as the root cause of the September 11 attacks.
He also claimed that former President George W. Bush personally told him at the Kennedy Center in December 2005 that he felt he had made a mistake invading Iraq, to which a Bush spokesperson replied, “This account is flatly wrong.” Following bad press resulting from his remarks, Bennett clarified his position, writing:
“There is simply no excuse for terrorism and the murder of the nearly 3,000 innocent victims of the 9/11 attacks on our country. My life experiences, ranging from the Battle of the Bulge to marching with Martin Luther King, made me a life-long humanist and pacifist, and reinforced my belief that violence begets violence and that war is the lowest form of human behavior.”
In September 2011, he released Duets II, a follow-up to his first collaboration album, in conjunction with his 85th birthday. He sings duets with seventeen prominent singers of varying techniques, including Aretha Franklin, Willie Nelson, Queen Latifah, and Lady Gaga.
He appeared on the season 2 premiere of the television procedural Blue Bloods performing “It Had To Be You” with Carrie Underwood. His duet with Amy Winehouse on “Body and Soul”—reportedly the last recording she made before her death—charted on the lower reaches of the Billboard Hot 100, making Bennett the oldest living artist to appear there, as well as the artist with the greatest span of appearances.
The single did well in Europe, where it reached the top 15 in several countries.The album then debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, making Bennett the oldest living artist to reach that top spot, as well as marking the first time he had reached it himself.
A model of Koss headphones, the Tony Bennett Signature Edition (TBSE1), was created for this milestone (Bennett has been one of the early adopters of the Koss product back in the 1960s). In November 2011, Columbia released Tony Bennett – The Complete Collection, a 73-CD plus 3-DVD set, which although not absolutely “complete”, finally brought forth many albums that had not had a previous CD release, as well as some unreleased material and rarities.
In December 2011, Bennett appeared at the Royal Variety Performance in Salford in the presence of HRH Princess Anne.
Tony Bennett at Neal S. Blaisdell Center, Honolulu on September 23, 2013
In the wake of the premature deaths of Winehouse and Whitney Houston, Bennett called for the legalization of drugs in February 2012. In October 2012, Bennett released Viva Duets, an album of Latin American music duets, featuring Vicente Fernández, Juan Luis Guerra, and Vicentico among others.
The recording and filming for the project, in Fort Lauderdale, was co-sponsored by the city. On October 31, 2012, Bennett performed “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” in front of more than 100,000 fans at a City Hall ceremony commemorating the 2012 World Series victory by the San Francisco Giants.
He published another memoir, Life is a Gift: The Zen of Bennett and a documentary film produced by his son Danny was released, also titled The Zen of Bennett.
In September 2014, he performed for the first time in Israel, with his jazz quartet at the Charles Bronfman Auditorium in Tel Aviv, receiving a standing ovation.
He also made a surprise cameo appearance on stage with Lady Gaga at Hayarkon Park, Tel Aviv, the previous evening. The performance took place days before the release that month of the two stars’ much-delayed collaborative effort and resultant Grammy-winning album, Cheek to Cheek, which debuted at number one on the Billboard charts, extending the 88-year-old Bennett’s record for the oldest artist to do so.
At the end of 2014, Bennett and Lady Gaga kicked off their co-headlining Cheek to Cheek Tour. The pair also appeared in a Barnes & Noble commercial.
INSeptember 25, 2015, he released an album of songs composed by Jerome Kern, featuring Bill Charlap on piano, called The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern.
On November 1, 2015, Bennett, joined by the choir from the Frank Sinatra School, sang “America the Beautiful” before Game 5 of the baseball World Series between the Kansas City Royals and New York Mets at Citi Field.
With Senator Dianne Feinstein, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and several San Francisco mayors in attendance, Bennett was serenaded by a young-adult choir singing “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”. Bennett had first sung the song at the hotel in 1961.
That same year, he performed at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 24 and the Rockefeller Center tree lighting on November 30. On December 20, 2016, NBC televised a special concert in honor of his 90th birthday.
In September 2018, Bennett re-recorded his own song “Fascinating Rhythm”.The song appeared on the collaborative album Love Is Here to Stay with Diana Krall