Tony Bennett
American artist
Tony Bennett
Anthony Dominick Benedetto, better known as Tony Bennett, is an Italian-American singer of popular music, standards, show tunes, and jazz. Bennett is also a serious and accomplished 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 New York City. Raised in New York City, Bennett began singing at an early age.
Biography
Tony Bennett's personal information overview.
{{personal_detail.supertitle}}
{{personal_detail.title}}
{{personal_detail.title}}
Relationships
View family, career and love interests for Tony Bennett
Show More Show Less
News
News abour Tony Bennett from around the web
Can We Get A Yaaas? Here Are The Best Reactions To Lady Gaga's Super Bowl Halftime Show
Huffington Post - 20 days
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Lady Gaga basically turned Super Bowl LI into the Monsters Ball on Sunday night by slaying her 13-minute-long halftime show like she was born to do.  The singer performed a medley of her greatest hits like “Born This Way” and “Bad Romance” in a high-flying, expertly choreographed extravaganza beginning with a leap off the roof of Houston’s NRG Stadium. Social media naturally exploded into a ball of glitter as reactions poured in from everyone from Hilla ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Lady Gaga Is Going To Get Political At The Super Bowl After All
Huffington Post - 23 days
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Lady Gaga is as much an activist as she is an artist, and despite reports to the contrary, she’ll be getting political on Super Bowl Sunday.  Though Gaga kept the details of her halftime performance under wraps, the singer revealed during a press conference on Thursday that her show would be about “equality” and “inclusion.”  “The only statements that I’ll be making during the halftime show are the ones that I’ve been consistently making throughout my c ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
George Michael Was Working On A Documentary Prior To His Death
Huffington Post - 2 months
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); George Michael had been working on a documentary in the weeks leading up to his death, according to his official website and social accounts. An Instagram post from November revealed that Michael was “busy putting the finishing touches to his special documentary film” called “Freedom.” The caption noted: “He has discovered some incredible, unseen archive footage and is shooting additional interviews for the project so the film will now air in March 2017. It pr ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
'You're my family, Tony': Stars salute Bennett for his 90th birthday
LATimes - 2 months
What a wonderful world for jazz icon Tony Bennett, who celebrated his 90th birthday with friends way more famous than yours. Bennett, who became a nonagenarian in August, was honored with a two-hour special that aired on NBC Tuesday. Shot in September at Radio City Music Hall, the star-studded ...
Article Link:
LATimes article
Tuesday's TV highlights: 'Tony Bennett Celebrates 90' and more
LATimes - 2 months
  SERIES Terry Crews Saves Christmas The “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” costar helps everyday folks plan their holiday parties in this new limited series. 8 p.m. KTLA So Cosmo Get a sneak peek at this upcoming reality series about the young staffers at Cosmopolitan Magazine. 8 p.m. E! Barbara Walters Presents...
Article Link:
LATimes article
Miss Piggy Finally Shoots Down A Popular Muppets Legend About Yoda
Huffington Post - 3 months
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, it made sense that Miss Piggy was related to Yoda. In fact, it was likely that she was his mama. George Lucas once said that Yoda was the illegitimate child of Piggy and Kermit, Frank Oz used to voice both Piggy and Yoda, and there are even photos of the three characters together on the “Star Wars” set:  Luke meets some of Yoda's distant relatives But what does Piggy have to say?  The Huffington Post caught up with her at the Kate Spade offices to find out. There, she finally addressed the “Star Wars” connection, saying, “Comment on rumors, I will not!” She then burst out laughing, adding, “No that is stupid. That is stilly. What are you saying?” function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['p ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Tony Bennett — 90 years young
Yahoo News - 3 months
Before becoming a household name, Tony Bennett, born Anthony Dominick Benedetto, was a singing waiter in Queens, N.Y., dreaming of stardom. Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric sat down with Bennett in his Manhattan apartment to talk about his new book, “Just Getting Started,” his artwork and his incredible career. More than just a talented singer, Bennett is also a skilled artist.
Article Link:
Yahoo News article
Tony Bennett Met His Wife While She Was Still In The Womb, He Says
Huffington Post - 3 months
Tony Bennett’s story about meeting his third wife, 50-year-old Susan Benedetto, may be more disturbing than heartwarming.  The 90-year-old singer (real name Anthony Benedetto) recently wrote about his first “interaction” with Benedetto in his new book, Just Getting Started, and it occurred while she was ... in utero. Yes. Really.  As Bennett explains in an excerpt shared with People magazine, he “met” Benedetto when he was introduced at age 40 to her parents, Marion and Dayl Crow, at one of his shows. “As fate would have it, Marion was pregnant at the time with … Susan!” Bennett wrote in his book. “It’s a photo we all laugh about, knowing the incredible turn of events that followed.”  “Incredible turn of events” is certainly one way to phrase it. There are plenty of couples with big age gaps, but learning how these two initially “met” is something we didn’t exactly need to know. Bennett met Benedetto post-birth many years later, when she was 19 and, as president of his ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Lady Gaga's 'Joanne' and Eventual World Tour Could Make 2017 Her Biggest Year
Huffington Post - 5 months
Lady Gaga is a shining example of resilience in an unforgiving pop music world, and in an age where second chances can be hard to come by, the 30-year-old singer is proving she's as ready as ever to make her mark in 2017. Although unofficially confirmed, Gaga is said to be the headlining act at the Super Bowl Halftime Show next February, and the details of her forthcoming debut, Joanne, on October 21 are promising a brand new version of the performer. Joanne will feature some of the most respected names in music, including Beck, Father John Misty, Mark Ronson, Tame Impala's Kevin Parker, Bloodpop, Florence Welch, Josh Homme, and country songwriter Hillary Lindsey. Her newly-released single from the record "Perfect Illusion" debuted at the No. 15 spot on the Billboard Hot 100, and became the 23rd Hot 100 entry of her career. If history complies, it's likely that a world tour will follow the release of Joanne, and tickets for the tour may be some of the most in-demand of her care ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Lady Gaga Surprises London Club With Live 'Perfect Illusion' Performance
Huffington Post - 6 months
Was it an illusion? Spoiler: no. Lady Gaga surprised a room full of East London clubgoers with a live performance in a shiny crop top early Saturday, just hours after dropping her upcoming album’s first single, “Perfect Illusion.” Guests of the Moth Club heard Gaga perform the new song and some old favorites including 2009’s “Bad Romance,” along with other pop hits. The Daily Telegraph reports that Gaga’s producer, Mark Ronson, warmed up for her performance with a DJ set before the singer took the stage around 1:30 a.m. Segura esse rock! #LadyGaga apresentando #PerfectIllusion AO VIVO pela primeira vez no Moth Club, em Londres. #MarkRonson também está no local. A video posted by RDT Lady Gaga (@rdtladygaga) on Sep 9, 2016 at 6:09pm PDT The upcoming, unnamed album ― a more “analog” production that will feature Florence Welch on one track ― is Gaga’s first solo endeavor since her 2013 album “Artpop.” In the meantime, she worked on a collaborat ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Lady Gaga Drops 'Perfect Illusion,' Her First New Song In Nearly A Year
Huffington Post - 6 months
Singer Lady Gaga released “Perfect Illusion” late Thursday after teasing the rock anthem for more than a month. This is the first track released by the 30-year-old superstar since her Oscar-nominated song “Till It Happens To You,” which was written for the 2015 campus sexual assault documentary, “The Hunting Ground.” Gaga hasn’t released a solo album since 2013’s “Artpop.” Instead, she’s worked on a jazz record with Tony Bennett and created several lauded television roles. She won a Golden Globe earlier this year for her portrayal of the sadistic Countess in “American Horror Story: Hotel.” “Perfect Illusion” is the first track of her as yet unnamed fifth album. Producer Mark Ronson told Charlie Rose earlier this year that the record would feature a more “analog” approach than previous albums. “She’s the happiest when she’s sitting at a piano, barking orders at a drummer,” Ronson said in May. “That side of her, I don’t think a lot of the world has seen. It’ ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
The Latest: Tony Bennett arrives to standing ovation
Yahoo News - 6 months
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Latest on Tony Bennett in San Francisco (all times local):
Article Link:
Yahoo News article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Tony Bennett
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2016
    Age 89
    On August 19, 2016, shortly after his 90th birthday, Bennett was honored by the unveiling of an 8-foot tall statue in his likeness in front of the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.
    More Details Hide Details With Senator Dianne Feinstein, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and several current and former 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 his signature song at the hotel in 1961. Bennett has also had success as a painter, done under his real name of Anthony Benedetto or just Benedetto. He followed up his childhood interest with professional training, work, and museum visits throughout his life. He sketches or paints every day, often of views out of hotel windows when he is on tour. He has exhibited his work in numerous galleries around the world. He was chosen as the official artist for the 2001 Kentucky Derby, and was commissioned by the United Nations to do two paintings, including one for its fiftieth anniversary. His painting "Homage to Hockney" (for his friend David Hockney, painted after Hockney drew him) is on permanent display at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio. His "Boy on Sailboat, Sydney Bay" is in the permanent collection at the National Arts Club in Gramercy Park in New York, as is his "Central Park" at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. His paintings and drawings have been featured in ARTnews and other magazines, and sell for as much as $80,000 apiece. Many of his works were published in the art book Tony Bennett: What My Heart Has Seen in 1996.
  • 2015
    Age 88
    In 2015, Bennett starred in the documentary film that depicts the life of late singer Amy Winehouse, entitled Amy, and in 2015, he starred in a Barnes & Noble commercial with Lady Gaga.
    More Details Hide Details
    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.
    More Details Hide Details
    On September 25, 2015, he released an album composed by Jerome Kern, featuring Bill Charlap on piano, called The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2014
    Age 87
    At the end of 2014, Bennett and Lady Gaga kicked off their co-headlining Cheek to Cheek Tour.
    More Details Hide Details
    In September 2014, Bennett performed for the first time in Israel, with his jazz quartet at the Charles Bronfman Auditorium in Tel Aviv, receiving a standing ovation.
    More Details Hide Details 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.
  • 2012
    Age 85
    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.
    More Details Hide Details 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 October 2012, Bennett released Viva Duets, an album of Latin American music duets, featuring Vicente Fernández, Juan Luis Guerra, and Vicentico among others.
    More Details Hide Details The recording and filming for the project, in Fort Lauderdale, was co-sponsored by the city.
    In the wake of the premature deaths of Winehouse and Whitney Houston, Bennett called for the legalization of drugs in February 2012.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2011
    Age 84
    In December 2011, Bennett appeared at the Royal Variety Performance in Salford in the presence of HRH Princess Anne.
    More Details Hide Details
    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.
    More Details Hide Details
    In September 2011, Bennett released Duets II, a follow-up to his first collaboration album, in conjunction with his 85th birthday.
    More Details Hide Details He sings duets with seventeen prominent singers of varying techniques, including Aretha Franklin, Willie Nelson, Queen Latifah, and Lady Gaga. Bennett appears on the season 2 premiere of 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 having been one of the early adopters of the Koss product back in the 1960s).
    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.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2010
    Age 83
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Days later he sang "America the Beautiful" at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear in Washington, D.C.
    In February 2010, Bennett 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.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2009
    Age 82
    In 2009, Bennett performed at the conclusion of the final Macworld Conference & Expo for Apple Inc., singing the "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.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2008
    Age 81
    The year 2008 saw Bennett making two appearances on "New York State of Mind" with Billy Joel at the final concerts given at Shea Stadium, and in October releasing the album A Swingin' Christmas with The Count Basie Big Band, for which he made a number of promotional appearances at holiday time.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2007
    Age 80
    On June 21, 2007, Bennett married Crow in a private civil ceremony in New York that was witnessed by former Governor Mario Cuomo.
    More Details Hide Details Danny Bennett continues to be Tony's manager while Dae Bennett is a recording engineer who has worked on a number of Tony's projects and who has opened Bennett Studios in Englewood, New Jersey. Tony's younger daughter Antonia is an aspiring jazz singer.
  • 2006
    Age 79
    Bennett was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award in 2006, the highest honor that the United States bestows upon jazz musicians.
    More Details Hide Details
    In August 2006, Bennett turned eighty years old.
    More Details Hide Details The birthday itself was an occasion for publicity, which then extended through the rest of the following year. Duets: An American Classic reached the highest place ever on the albums chart for an album by Bennett and garnered two Grammy Awards; concerts were given, including a high-profile one for New York radio station WLTW-FM; a performance was done with Christina Aguilera and a comedy sketch was made with affectionate Bennett impressionist Alec Baldwin on Saturday Night Live; a Thanksgiving-time, Rob Marshall-directed television special Tony Bennett: An American Classic on NBC, which would win multiple Emmy Awards; receipt of the Billboard Century Award; and guest-mentoring on American Idol season 6 as well as performing during its finale. He received the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees' Humanitarian Award.
  • 2005
    Age 78
    Bennett 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."
    More Details Hide Details 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."
  • 2002
    Age 75
    Bennett frequently donates his time to charitable causes, to the extent that he is sometimes nicknamed "Tony Benefit". In April 2002, he joined Michael Jackson, Chris Tucker and former President Bill Clinton in a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee at New York's Apollo Theater.
    More Details Hide Details He has also recorded public service announcements for Civitan International. In the late 1980s, Bennett entered into a long-term romantic relationship with Susan Crow, a former New York City schoolteacher who was 40 years his junior. Bennett and Crow founded Exploring the Arts, a charitable organization dedicated to creating, promoting, and supporting arts education. At the same time they founded (and named after Bennett's friend) the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Queens, a public high school dedicated to teaching the performing arts, which opened in 2001 and would have a very high graduation rate.
    In 2002, Q magazine named Tony Bennett in its list of the "50 Bands To See Before You Die".
    More Details Hide Details On December 4, 2005, Bennett was the recipient of a Kennedy Center Honor. Later, a theatrical musical revue of his songs, called I Left My Heart: A Salute to the Music of Tony Bennett was created and featured some of his best-known songs such as "I Left My Heart in San Francisco", "Because of You", and "Wonderful". The following year, Bennett was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame.
  • 1998
    Age 71
    Bennett also published The Good Life: The Autobiography of Tony Bennett in 1998.
    More Details Hide Details
    In 1998 he made an unlikely but successful appearance at a mud-soaked Glastonbury in an immaculate suit and tie.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1997
    Age 70
    Bennett was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1997, was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001, and received a lifetime achievement award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) in 2002.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1994
    Age 67
    The new audience reached its height with Bennett's appearance in 1994 on MTV Unplugged. (He quipped on the show, "I've been unplugged my whole career.") Featuring guest appearances by rock and country stars Elvis Costello and k.d. lang (both of whom had an affinity for the standards genre), the show attracted a considerable audience and much media attention.
    More Details Hide Details The resulting MTV Unplugged: Tony Bennett album went platinum and, besides taking the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance Grammy award for the third straight year, also won the top Grammy prize of Album of the Year. Since his comeback, Bennett has financially prospered; by 1999, his assets were worth $15 to 20 million. He had no intention of retiring, saying in reference to masters such as Pablo Picasso, Jack Benny, and Fred Astaire: "right up to the day they died, they were performing. If you are creative, you get busier as you get older." Bennett continued to record and tour steadily, doing a hundred shows a year by the end of the 1990s. In concert Bennett often makes a point of singing one song (usually "Fly Me to the Moon") without any microphone or amplification, demonstrating his skills at vocal projection. One show, Tony Bennett's Wonderful World: Live From San Francisco, was made into a PBS special. Bennett also created the idea behind, and starred in the first episode of, the A&E Network's popular Live by Request series, for which he won an Emmy Award. In addition to numerous television guest performances, Bennett has had cameo appearances as himself in films such as The Scout, Analyze This, and Bruce Almighty.
  • 1993
    Age 66
    In 1993, Bennett played a series of benefit concerts organized by alternative rock radio stations around the country.
    More Details Hide Details The plan worked; as Tony later remembered, "I realized that young people had never heard those songs. Cole Porter, Gershwin - they were like, 'Who wrote that?' To them, it was different. If you're different, you stand out." During this time, Bennett continued to record, first putting out the acclaimed look-back Astoria: Portrait of the Artist (1990), then emphasizing themed albums such as the Sinatra homage Perfectly Frank (1992) and the Fred Astaire tribute Steppin' Out (1993). The latter two both achieved gold status and won Grammys for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance (Bennett's first Grammys since 1962) and further established Bennett as the inheritor of the mantle of a classic American great. As Bennett was seen at MTV Video Music Awards shows side-by-side with the likes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Flavor Flav, and as his "Steppin' Out with My Baby" video received MTV airplay, it was clear that, as The New York Times said, "Tony Bennett has not just bridged the generation gap, he has demolished it. He has solidly connected with a younger crowd weaned on rock. And there have been no compromises."
  • FIFTIES
  • 1986
    Age 59
    By 1986, Tony Bennett was re-signed to Columbia Records, this time with creative control, and released The Art of Excellence.
    More Details Hide Details This became his first album to reach the charts since 1972. Danny Bennett felt that younger audiences who were unfamiliar with his father would respond to his music if given a chance. No changes to Tony's formal appearance, singing style, musical accompaniment (The Ralph Sharon Trio or an orchestra), or song choice (generally the Great American Songbook) were necessary or desirable. Accordingly, Danny began regularly to book his father on Late Night with David Letterman, a show with a younger, "hip" audience. This was subsequently followed by appearances on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Simpsons, Muppets Tonight, and various MTV programs.
  • 1979
    Age 52
    After a near-fatal cocaine overdose in 1979, Bennett called his sons Danny and Dae for help. "Look, I'm lost here," he told them. "It seems like people don't want to hear the music I make."
    More Details Hide Details Danny Bennett, an aspiring musician himself, also came to a realization. The band Danny and his brother had started, Quacky Duck and His Barnyard Friends, had foundered and Danny's musical abilities were limited. However, he had discovered during this time that he did have a head for business. His father, on the other hand, had tremendous musical talent, but was having trouble sustaining a career from it and had little financial sense. Danny signed on as his father's manager. Danny got his father's expenses under control, moved him back to New York, and began booking him in colleges and small theaters to get him away from a "Vegas" image. After some effort, a successful plan to pay back the IRS debt was put into place. The singer had also reunited with Ralph Sharon as his pianist and musical director (and would remain with him until Sharon's retirement in 2002).
  • 1977
    Age 50
    Taking matters into his own hands, Bennett started his own record company, Improv. He cut some songs that would later become favorites, such as "What is This Thing Called Love?", and made two well-regarded albums with jazz pianist Bill Evans, The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album (1975) and Together Again (1976), but Improv lacked a distribution arrangement with a major label and by 1977, it was out of business.
    More Details Hide Details As the decade neared its end, Bennett had no recording contract, no manager, and was not performing many concerts outside of Las Vegas. His second marriage was failing (they would completely separate in 1979 and the marriage was dissolved by court order on July 1, 1983). He had developed a drug addiction, was living beyond his means, and had the Internal Revenue Service trying to seize his Los Angeles home.
  • FORTIES
  • 1969
    Age 42
    In 1969, Patricia sued him for divorce on grounds of adultery. In 1971, their divorce became official.
    More Details Hide Details
  • THIRTIES
  • 1966
    Age 39
    An attempt to break into acting with a role in the poorly received 1966 film The Oscar met with middling reviews for Bennett; he did not enjoy the experience and did not seek further roles.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1965
    Age 38
    Bennett had become involved with aspiring actress Sandra Grant while filming The Oscar in 1965; the couple lived together for several years, and on December 29, 1971, they quietly married in New York.
    More Details Hide Details They had two daughters, Joanna (born 1970) and Antonia (born 1974), and moved to Los Angeles.
    Ralph Sharon and Bennett parted ways in 1965.
    More Details Hide Details There was great pressure on singers such as Lena Horne and Barbra Streisand to record "contemporary" rock songs, and in this vein, Columbia Records' Clive Davis suggested that Bennett do the same. Bennett was very reluctant, and when he tried, the results pleased no one. This was exemplified by Tony Sings the Great Hits of Today! (1970), before which Bennett became physically ill at the thought of recording. It featured misguided attempts at Beatles and other current songs and a ludicrous psychedelic art cover. Years later, Bennett would recall his dismay at being asked to do contemporary material, comparing it to when his mother was forced to produce a cheap dress. By 1972, he had departed Columbia for the Verve division of MGM Records (Philips in the UK) and had relocated for a stint in London, where he hosted a television show from the Talk of the Town nightclub in conjunction with Thames Television, Tony Bennett from the Talk of the Town. With his new label, he tried a variety of approaches, including some more Beatles material, but found no renewed commercial success, and in a couple more years he was without a recording contract.
    A firm believer in the American Civil Rights movement, Bennett participated in the 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches.
    More Details Hide Details Years later he would continue this commitment by refusing to perform in apartheid South Africa.
    The next year brought the Beatles and the British Invasion, and with them still more musical and cultural attention to rock and less to pop, standards, and jazz. Over the next couple of years, Bennett had minor hits with several albums and singles based on show tunes; his last top-40 single was the number 34 "If I Ruled the World" from Pickwick in 1965, but his commercial fortunes were clearly starting to decline.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1962
    Age 35
    Also in 1962, Bennett released his recording of "I Left My Heart in San Francisco", a decade-old but little-known song originally written for an opera singer.
    More Details Hide Details Although this reached only number 19 on the Billboard Hot 100, it spent close to a year on various other charts and increased Bennett's exposure. The album of the same title was a top 5 hit and both the single and album achieved gold record status. The song won Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Best Male Solo Vocal Performance. Over the years, this would become known as Bennett's signature song. In 2001, it was ranked 23rd on an RIAA/NEA list of the most historically significant Songs of the 20th Century. He excites me when I watch him. He moves me. Bennett's following album, I Wanna Be Around (1963), was also a top-5 success, with the title track and "The Good Life" each reaching the top 20 of the pop singles chart along with the top 10 of the Adult Contemporary chart.
    Bennett also appeared on television, and in October 1962 he sang on the initial broadcast of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.
    More Details Hide Details
    In June 1962, Bennett staged a highly promoted concert performance at Carnegie Hall, using a stellar line-up of musicians including Al Cohn, Kenny Burrell, and Candido, as well as the Ralph Sharon Trio.
    More Details Hide Details The concert featured 44 songs, including favorites like "I've Got the World on a String" and "The Best Is Yet To Come". It was a big success, further cementing Bennett's reputation as a star both at home and abroad.
  • 1957
    Age 30
    In 1957, Ralph Sharon became Bennett's pianist, arranger, and musical director, replacing Wayne.
    More Details Hide Details Sharon told Bennett that a career singing "sweet saccharine songs like 'Blue Velvet'" wouldn't last long, and encouraged Bennett to focus even more on his jazz inclinations. The result was the 1957 album The Beat of My Heart. It used well-known jazz musicians such as Herbie Mann and Nat Adderley, with a strong emphasis on percussion from the likes of Art Blakey, Jo Jones, Latin star Candido Camero, and Chico Hamilton. The album was both popular and critically praised. Bennett followed this by working with the Count Basie Orchestra, becoming the first male pop vocalist to sing with Basie's band. The albums Basie Swings, Bennett Sings (1958) and In Person! (1959) were the well-regarded fruits of this collaboration, with "Chicago" being one of the standout songs. Bennett also built up the quality, and therefore, the reputation of his nightclub act; in this he was following the path of Sinatra and other top jazz and standards singers of this era.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1955
    Age 28
    Bennett released his first long-playing album in 1955, Cloud 7.
    More Details Hide Details The album was billed as featuring Wayne and showed Bennett's leanings towards jazz.
  • 1954
    Age 27
    In 1954, the guitarist Chuck Wayne became Bennett's musical director.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1952
    Age 25
    On February 12, 1952, Bennett married Ohio art student and jazz fan Patricia Beech, whom he had met the previous year after a nightclub performance in Cleveland.
    More Details Hide Details Two thousand female fans dressed in black gathered outside the ceremony at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan, New York, in mock mourning. The couple had two sons, D'Andrea (Danny, born 1954) and Daegal (Dae, born 1955). A third number-one came in 1953 with "Rags to Riches". Unlike Bennett's other early hits, this was an up-tempo big band number with a bold, brassy sound and a double tango in the instrumental break; it topped the charts for eight weeks. Later that year, the producers of the upcoming Broadway musical Kismet had Bennett record "Stranger in Paradise" as a way of promoting the show during a New York newspaper strike. The song reached the top, the show was a hit, and Bennett began a long practice of recording show tunes. "Stranger in Paradise" was also a number-one hit in the United Kingdom a year and a half later and started Bennett's career as an international artist.
  • 1950
    Age 23
    In 1950, Bennett cut a demo of "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" and was signed to the major Columbia Records label by Mitch Miller.
    More Details Hide Details Warned by Miller not to imitate Frank Sinatra (who was just then leaving Columbia), Bennett began his career as a crooner of commercial pop tunes. His first big hit was "Because of You", a ballad produced by Miller with a lush orchestral arrangement from Percy Faith. It started out gaining popularity on jukeboxes, then reached number one on the pop charts in 1951 and stayed there for ten weeks, selling over a million copies. This was followed to the top of the charts later that year by a similarly-styled rendition of Hank Williams's "Cold, Cold Heart", which helped introduce Williams and country music in general to a wider, more national audience. The Miller and Faith tandem continued to work on all of Bennett's early hits. Bennett's recording of "Blue Velvet" was also very popular and attracted screaming teenaged fans at concerts at the famed Paramount Theater in New York (Bennett did seven shows a day, starting at 10:30 a.m.) and elsewhere.
  • 1949
    Age 22
    He made a few recordings as Bari in 1949 for small Leslie Records, but they failed to sell.
    More Details Hide Details In 1949, Pearl Bailey recognized Benedetto's talent and asked him to open for her in Greenwich Village. She had invited Bob Hope to the show. Hope decided to take Benedetto on the road with him, and simplified his name to Tony Bennett.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1945
    Age 18
    As March 1945 began, he joined the front line and what he would later describe as a "front-row seat in hell."
    More Details Hide Details As the German Army was pushed back to its homeland, Benedetto and his company saw bitter fighting in cold winter conditions, often hunkering down in foxholes as German 88 mm guns fired on them. At the end of March, they crossed the Rhine and entered Germany, engaging in dangerous house-to-house, town-after-town fighting to clean out German soldiers; during the first week of April, they crossed the Kocher River, and by the end of the month reached the Danube. During his time in combat, Benedetto narrowly escaped death several times. The experience made him a pacifist; he would later write, "Anybody who thinks that war is romantic obviously hasn't gone through one," and later say, "It was a nightmare that's permanent. I just said, 'This is not life. This is not life.'" At the war's conclusion he was involved in the liberation of a Nazi concentration camp near Landsberg, where some American prisoners of war from the 63rd Division had also been held.
    Processed through the huge Le Havre replacement depot, in January 1945, he was assigned as a replacement infantryman to the 255th Infantry Regiment of the 63rd Infantry Division, a unit filling in for the heavy losses suffered in the Battle of the Bulge.
    More Details Hide Details He moved across France, and later, into Germany.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1926
    Born
    Born on August 3, 1926.
    More Details Hide Details
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
All data offered is derived from public sources. Spokeo does not verify or evaluate each piece of data, and makes no warranties or guarantees about any of the information offered. Spokeo does not possess or have access to secure or private financial information. Spokeo is not a consumer reporting agency and does not offer consumer reports. None of the information offered by Spokeo is to be considered for purposes of determining any entity or person's eligibility for credit, insurance, employment, housing, or for any other purposes covered under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)