Iconic singer Tony Bennett has died, aged 96

21 July 2023, 13:40 | Updated: 21 July 2023, 13:49

Tony Bennett aged 90
Tony Bennett aged 90. Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

Singer Tony Bennett has died at the age of 96.

Anthony Dominick Benedetto was raised in the Astoria neighbourhood of Queens after being born on Long Island, New York, on August 3, 1926, to Italian parents Anna and John Benedetto.

Bob Hope first noticed Tony Bennett when he was 23 years old and performing on stage in Greenwich Village.

In 1949, the comedian saw his untapped potential and invited him to tour with him; shortly after, a recording contract with Columbia Records was signed.

With his performances of a variety of conventional pop and jazz standards, big band music, and other songs, Tony Bennett rose to fame as one of the most renowned American vocalists of the 20th and 21st centuries.

The singer is best known for his anthem 'I Left My Heart In San Francisco', but he also enjoyed success with other hit singles including 'Because of You', 'Rags to Riches', and a cover of Hank Williams' 'Cold, Cold Heart'.

Singer Tony Bennett as a teen idol
Singer Tony Bennett as a teen idol. Picture: Getty

Tony has had hits with the songs 'I Wanna Be Around', 'The Good Life', and 'Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me)'.

Over the course of his career, the celebrity received several honours, including 20 Grammy Awards and two Primetime Emmy Awards.

In his lifetime, he sold more than 50 million recordings and was recognised as a Kennedy Centre Honoree and Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Bennett was also a highly enthusiastic painter who went by the name Anthony Benedetto while selling his works.

Tony Bennett "I Left My Heart In San Francisco" on The Ed Sullivan Show

In 2021, he revealed publicly he had been suffering from Alzheimer's Disease since 2016, saying at the time: "Life is a gift – even with Alzheimer's."

His wife Susan spoke about his diagnosis in 2021, saying: "There's a lot about him that I miss... But when he sings, he's the old Tony."

their wife Susan Crow, together with their four children Danny, Antonia, Dae, and Joanna Bennett, are still living.

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