The music world has lost one of the greats, with news of the death of legendary crooner Tony Bennett circulating Friday morning (July 21).
According to Variety, Bennett died early Friday morning at the age of 96 in New York City. The musician was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2016, but continued to record and perform, often accompanied by Lady Gaga, through 2021.
The iconic vocalist was born Anthony Dominick Bendetto on Aug. 3, 1926, later changing his name to Tony Bennett for his professional singing career. After serving in World War II, Bennett was assigned to an informal Special Services Band that would entertain the American forces and he continued his singing career after he was discharged from the Army in 1946. By 1950, he caught his first big break signing to Collumbia Records after recording a demo of “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.”
That led to a career that included over 70 albums and such classic standards as “Because of You,” “Rags to Riches,” “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” “One for My Baby,” “Steppin’ Out With My Baby” and “Fly Me to the Moon.”
Bennett enjoyed a career resurgence in the ’90s after taking part in MTV’s popular MTV Unplugged series, which introduced him to a new generation of fans and yielded the Grammys Album of the Year. The 2000s brought about his Duets: An American Classic album, partnering him with Paul McCartney, Elton John, Bono, Elvis Costello, Sting, George Michael, Barbra Streisand, Christina Aguilera, Celine Dion, John Legend and more. And in recent years, he recorded full albums with Lady Gaga and Diane Krall.
His music transcended genres, and it speaks to his talent and impact on the music world that many notable rock and metal musicians have weighed in with their own tributes to the legendary Bennett.
“Very sad to hear about Tony Bennett’s passing. Rest in peace,” noted Ozzy Osbourne while sharing a photo he once took with the legendary vocalist. “Today we lost an icon of icons. Kind, considerate and as Sinatra was quoted as saying, the best singer of them all. Rest In Peace, Tony Bennett.,” added KISS‘ Gene Simmons. See more of the tributes to Tony Bennett below.
Tony Bennett, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” (From MTV Unplugged)
Tony Bennett, “Steppin’ Out With My Baby”
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