Tony Bennett

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This article is about the American singer. Tony Bennett_sentence_0

For the coach, see Tony Bennett (basketball). Tony Bennett_sentence_1

For other people named Tony Bennett, see Tony Bennett (disambiguation). Tony Bennett_sentence_2

Tony Bennett_table_infobox_0

Tony BennettTony Bennett_header_cell_0_0_0
BornTony Bennett_header_cell_0_1_0 Anthony Dominick Benedetto
(1926-08-03) August 3, 1926 (age 94)

Long Island City, New York, U.S.Tony Bennett_cell_0_1_1

OccupationTony Bennett_header_cell_0_2_0 Tony Bennett_cell_0_2_1
Years activeTony Bennett_header_cell_0_3_0 1945–presentTony Bennett_cell_0_3_1
Spouse(s)Tony Bennett_header_cell_0_4_0 Patricia Beech

​ ​(m. 1952; div. 1971)​

Sandra Grant ​ ​(m. 1971; div. 2007)​

Susan Crow ​(m. 2007)​Tony Bennett_cell_0_4_1

ChildrenTony Bennett_header_cell_0_5_0 4, including Antonia BennettTony Bennett_cell_0_5_1
GenresTony Bennett_header_cell_0_6_0 Tony Bennett_cell_0_6_1
LabelsTony Bennett_header_cell_0_7_0 Tony Bennett_cell_0_7_1
Associated actsTony Bennett_header_cell_0_8_0 Tony Bennett_cell_0_8_1
WebsiteTony Bennett_header_cell_0_9_0 Tony Bennett_cell_0_9_1

Anthony Dominick Benedetto (born August 3, 1926), known professionally as Tony Bennett, is an American singer of traditional pop standards, big band, show tunes, and jazz. Tony Bennett_sentence_3

He is also a painter, having created works under his birth name that are on permanent public display in several institutions. Tony Bennett_sentence_4

He is the founder of the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria, Queens, New York. Tony Bennett_sentence_5

Born and raised in Astoria to an Italian-American family, Bennett began singing at an early age. Tony Bennett_sentence_6

He fought in the final stages of World War II as a U.S. Tony Bennett_sentence_7 Army infantryman in the European Theater. Tony Bennett_sentence_8

Afterward, he developed his singing technique, signed with Columbia Records and had his first number-one popular song with "Because of You" in 1951. Tony Bennett_sentence_9

Several top hits such as "Rags to Riches" followed in early 1953. Tony Bennett_sentence_10

He then refined his approach to encompass jazz singing. Tony Bennett_sentence_11

He reached an artistic peak in the late 1950s with albums such as The Beat of My Heart and Basie Swings, Bennett Sings. Tony Bennett_sentence_12

In 1962, Bennett recorded his signature song, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco". Tony Bennett_sentence_13

His career and personal life experienced an extended downturn during the height of the rock music era. Tony Bennett_sentence_14

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_15

He remains a popular and critically praised recording artist and concert performer to date. Tony Bennett_sentence_16

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_17

Bennett has sold over 50 million records worldwide. Tony Bennett_sentence_18

Life and career Tony Bennett_section_0

1926–1943: Early life Tony Bennett_section_1

Anthony Dominick Benedetto was born on August 3, 1926 at St. John's Hospital in Long Island City, Queens, NY. Tony Bennett_sentence_19

He is the son of grocer John Benedetto and seamstress Anna Suraci, and was the first member of his family to be born in a hospital. Tony Bennett_sentence_20

In 1906, John had emigrated from Podàrgoni, a rural eastern district of the southern Italian city of Reggio Calabria. Tony Bennett_sentence_21

Anna had been born in the U.S. shortly after her parents also emigrated from the Calabria region in 1899. Tony Bennett_sentence_22

Other relatives came over as well as part of the mass migration of Italians to America. Tony Bennett_sentence_23

Tony grew up with an older sister, Mary, and an older brother, John Jr. With a father who was ailing and unable to work, the children grew up in poverty. Tony Bennett_sentence_24

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_25

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_26

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_27

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_28

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_29

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_30

He began singing for money at age 13, performing as a singing waiter in several Italian restaurants around his native Queens. Tony Bennett_sentence_31

He attended New York's School of Industrial Art where he studied painting and music and would later appreciate their emphasis on proper technique. Tony Bennett_sentence_32

But he dropped out at age 16 to help support his family. Tony Bennett_sentence_33

He worked as a copy boy and runner for the Associated Press in Manhattan and in several other low-skilled, low-paying jobs. Tony Bennett_sentence_34

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_35

1944–1950: World War II and after Tony Bennett_section_2

Benedetto was drafted into the United States Army in November 1944, during the final stages of World War II. Tony Bennett_sentence_36

He did basic training at Fort Dix and Fort Robinson as part of becoming an infantry rifleman. Tony Bennett_sentence_37

Benedetto ran afoul of a sergeant from the South who disliked the Italian from New York City; heavy doses of KP duty or BAR cleaning resulted. Tony Bennett_sentence_38

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_39

He moved across France, and later, into Germany. Tony Bennett_sentence_40

As March 1945 began, he joined the front line and what he would later describe as a "front-row seat in hell." Tony Bennett_sentence_41

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_42

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_43

During his time in combat, Benedetto narrowly escaped death several times. Tony Bennett_sentence_44

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_45

I just said, 'This is not life. Tony Bennett_sentence_46

This is not life.'" Tony Bennett_sentence_47

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_48

Benedetto stayed in Germany as part of the occupying force but was assigned to an informal Special Services band unit that would entertain nearby American forces. Tony Bennett_sentence_49

His dining with a black friend from high school – at a time when the Army was still racially segregated – led to his being demoted and reassigned to Graves Registration Service duties. Tony Bennett_sentence_50

Subsequently, he sang with the 314th Army Special Services Band under the stage name Joe Bari (a name he had started using before the war, chosen after the city and province in Italy and as a partial anagram of his family origins in Calabria). Tony Bennett_sentence_51

He played with many musicians who would have post-war careers. Tony Bennett_sentence_52

Upon his discharge from the Army and return to the States in 1946, Benedetto studied at the American Theatre Wing on the GI Bill. Tony Bennett_sentence_53

He was taught the bel canto singing discipline, which would keep his voice in good shape for his entire career. Tony Bennett_sentence_54

He continued to perform wherever he could, including while waiting tables. Tony Bennett_sentence_55

Based upon a suggestion from a teacher at American Theatre Wing, he developed an unusual approach that involved imitating, as he sang, the style and phrasing of other musicians — such as that of Stan Getz's saxophone and Art Tatum's piano — helping him to improvise as he interpreted a song. Tony Bennett_sentence_56

He made a few recordings as Bari in 1949 for small Leslie Records, but they failed to sell. Tony Bennett_sentence_57

In 1949, Pearl Bailey recognized Benedetto's talent and asked him to open for her in Greenwich Village. Tony Bennett_sentence_58

She had invited Bob Hope to the show. Tony Bennett_sentence_59

Hope decided to take Benedetto on the road with him, and simplified his name to Tony Bennett. Tony Bennett_sentence_60

In 1950, Bennett cut a demo of "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" and was signed to the major Columbia Records label by Mitch Miller. Tony Bennett_sentence_61

1951–1959: First successes Tony Bennett_section_3

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_62

His first big hit was "Because of You", a ballad produced by Miller with a lush orchestral arrangement from Percy Faith. Tony Bennett_sentence_63

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_64

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_65

The Miller and Faith tandem continued to work on all of Bennett's early hits. Tony Bennett_sentence_66

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_67

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_68

Two thousand female fans dressed in black gathered outside the ceremony at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan, New York, in mock mourning. Tony Bennett_sentence_69

The couple had two sons, D'Andrea (Danny, born 1954) and Daegal (Dae, born 1955). Tony Bennett_sentence_70

A third number-one came in 1953 with "Rags to Riches". Tony Bennett_sentence_71

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_72

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_73

The song reached the top, the show was a hit, and Bennett began a long practice of recording show tunes. Tony Bennett_sentence_74

"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. Tony Bennett_sentence_75

Once the rock and roll era began in 1955, the dynamic of the music industry changed and it became harder and harder for existing pop singers to do well commercially. Tony Bennett_sentence_76

Nevertheless, Bennett continued to enjoy success, placing eight songs in the Billboard Top 40 during the latter part of the 1950s, with "In the Middle of an Island" (which he vehemently hated so much) reaching the highest at number nine in 1957. Tony Bennett_sentence_77

For a month in August–September 1956, Bennett hosted a NBC Saturday night television variety show, The Tony Bennett Show, as a summer replacement for The Perry Como Show. Tony Bennett_sentence_78

Patti Page and Julius La Rosa had in turn hosted the two previous months, and they all shared the same singers, dancers, and orchestra. Tony Bennett_sentence_79

In 1959, Bennett would again fill in for The Perry Como Show, this time alongside Teresa Brewer and Jaye P. Morgan as co-hosts of the summer-long Perry Presents. Tony Bennett_sentence_80

1954–1965: A growing artistry Tony Bennett_section_4

In 1954, the guitarist Chuck Wayne became Bennett's musical director. Tony Bennett_sentence_81

Bennett released his first long-playing album in 1955, Cloud 7. Tony Bennett_sentence_82

The album was billed as featuring Wayne and showed Bennett's leanings towards jazz. Tony Bennett_sentence_83

In 1957, Ralph Sharon became Bennett's pianist, arranger, and musical director, replacing Wayne. Tony Bennett_sentence_84

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_85

The result was the 1957 album The Beat of My Heart. Tony Bennett_sentence_86

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_87

The album was both popular and critically praised. Tony Bennett_sentence_88

Bennett followed this by working with the Count Basie Orchestra, becoming the first male pop vocalist to sing with Basie's band. Tony Bennett_sentence_89

The albums Basie Swings, Bennett Sings (1958) and In Person! Tony Bennett_sentence_90

(1959) were the well-regarded fruits of this collaboration, with "Chicago" being one of the standout songs. Tony Bennett_sentence_91

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_92

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_93

The concert featured 44 songs, including favorites like "I've Got the World on a String" and "The Best Is Yet To Come". Tony Bennett_sentence_94

It was a big success, further cementing Bennett's reputation as a star both at home and abroad. Tony Bennett_sentence_95

Bennett also appeared on television, and in October 1962 he sang on the initial broadcast of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Tony Bennett_sentence_96

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_97

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_98

The album of the same title was a top 5 hit and both the single and album achieved gold record status. Tony Bennett_sentence_99

The song won Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Best Male Solo Vocal Performance for Bennett. Tony Bennett_sentence_100

Over the years, this would become known as Bennett's signature song. Tony Bennett_sentence_101

In 2001, it was ranked 23rd on an RIAA/NEA list of the most historically significant Songs of the 20th Century. Tony Bennett_sentence_102

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_103

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_104

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_105

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_106

A firm believer in the Civil Rights Movement, Bennett participated in the 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches. Tony Bennett_sentence_107

Years later he would continue this commitment by refusing to perform in apartheid South Africa. Tony Bennett_sentence_108

1965–1979: Years of struggle Tony Bennett_section_5

Ralph Sharon and Bennett parted ways in 1965. Tony Bennett_sentence_109

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_110

Bennett was very reluctant, and when he tried, the results pleased no one. Tony Bennett_sentence_111

This was exemplified by Tony Sings the Great Hits of Today! Tony Bennett_sentence_112

(1970), before which Bennett became physically ill at the thought of recording. Tony Bennett_sentence_113

It featured misguided attempts at Beatles and other current songs and a ludicrous psychedelic art cover. Tony Bennett_sentence_114

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_115

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 at the Talk of the Town. Tony Bennett_sentence_116

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_117

Bennett and his wife Patricia had been separated since 1965, their marriage a victim of Bennett's spending too much time on the road, among other factors. Tony Bennett_sentence_118

In 1969, Patricia sued him for divorce on grounds of adultery. Tony Bennett_sentence_119

In 1971, their divorce became official. Tony Bennett_sentence_120

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_121

They had two daughters, Joanna (born 1970) and Antonia (born 1974), and moved to Los Angeles. Tony Bennett_sentence_122

Taking matters into his own hands, Bennett started his own record company, Improv. Tony Bennett_sentence_123

He cut some songs that would later become favorites, such as "What is This Thing Called Love? Tony Bennett_sentence_124

", 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. Tony Bennett_sentence_125

As the decade neared its end, Bennett had no recording contract, no manager, and was not performing many concerts outside of Las Vegas. Tony Bennett_sentence_126

His second marriage was failing; they separated in 1979 with her filing for divorce (but when the marriage officially ended is unclear – some people say the marriage was dissolved by court order on July 1, 1983, but there are other reports saying the divorce papers did not become official until 2007). Tony Bennett_sentence_127

He had developed a drug addiction, was living beyond his means, and had the Internal Revenue Service trying to seize his Los Angeles home. Tony Bennett_sentence_128

He had hit bottom. Tony Bennett_sentence_129

1979–1989: Turnaround Tony Bennett_section_6

After a near-fatal cocaine overdose in 1979, Bennett called his sons Danny and Dae for help. Tony Bennett_sentence_130

"Look, I'm lost here," he told them. Tony Bennett_sentence_131

"It seems like people don't want to hear the music I make." Tony Bennett_sentence_132

Danny Bennett, an aspiring musician himself, also came to a realization. Tony Bennett_sentence_133

The band Danny and his brother had started, Quacky Duck and His Barnyard Friends, had foundered and Danny's musical abilities were limited. Tony Bennett_sentence_134

However, he had discovered during this time that he did have a head for business. Tony Bennett_sentence_135

His father, on the other hand, had tremendous musical talent, but was having trouble sustaining a career from it and had little financial sense. Tony Bennett_sentence_136

Danny signed on as his father's manager. Tony Bennett_sentence_137

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_138

After some effort, a successful plan to pay back the IRS debt was put into place. Tony Bennett_sentence_139

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). Tony Bennett_sentence_140

By 1986, Tony Bennett was re-signed to Columbia Records, this time with creative control, and released The Art of Excellence. Tony Bennett_sentence_141

This became his first album to reach the charts since 1972. Tony Bennett_sentence_142

1990–1995: An unexpected audience Tony Bennett_section_7

Danny Bennett felt that younger audiences who were unfamiliar with his father would respond to his music if given a chance. Tony Bennett_sentence_143

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_144

Accordingly, Danny began regularly to book his father on Late Night with David Letterman, a show with a younger, "hip" audience. Tony Bennett_sentence_145

This was subsequently followed by appearances on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Simpsons, Muppets Tonight, and various MTV programs. Tony Bennett_sentence_146

In 1993, Bennett played a series of benefit concerts organized by alternative rock radio stations around the country. Tony Bennett_sentence_147

The plan worked; as Tony later remembered, "I realized that young people had never heard those songs. Tony Bennett_sentence_148

Cole Porter, Gershwin – they were like, 'Who wrote that?' Tony Bennett_sentence_149

To them, it was different. Tony Bennett_sentence_150

If you're different, you stand out." Tony Bennett_sentence_151

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). Tony Bennett_sentence_152

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_153

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_154

He has solidly connected with a younger crowd weaned on rock. Tony Bennett_sentence_155

And there have been no compromises." Tony Bennett_sentence_156

The new audience reached its height with Bennett's appearance in 1994 on MTV Unplugged. Tony Bennett_sentence_157

(He quipped on the show, "I've been unplugged my whole career.") Tony Bennett_sentence_158

Featuring guest appearances by rock and country stars Elvis Costello and k.d. Tony Bennett_sentence_159 lang (both of whom had an affinity for the standards genre), the show attracted a considerable audience and much media attention. Tony Bennett_sentence_160

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_161

1996–2006: Into his 70s Tony Bennett_section_8

Since his comeback, Bennett has financially prospered; by 1999, his assets were worth $15 to 20 million. Tony Bennett_sentence_162

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_163

If you are creative, you get busier as you get older." Tony Bennett_sentence_164

Bennett continued to record and tour steadily, doing a hundred shows a year by the end of the 1990s. Tony Bennett_sentence_165

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_166

One show, Tony Bennett's Wonderful World: Live From San Francisco, was made into a PBS special. Tony Bennett_sentence_167

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_168

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_169

In 1998, he made an unlikely but highly successful appearance on the final day of a mud-soaked Glastonbury in an immaculate suit and tie, his whole set on this occasion consisting of songs about the weather. Tony Bennett_sentence_170

Bennett also published The Good Life: The Autobiography of Tony Bennett in 1998. Tony Bennett_sentence_171

A series of albums, often based on themes (such as Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, blues, or duets), has met with largely positive reviews; Bennett has won eleven more Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance or Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album Grammys in the subsequent years, most recently for the year 2018. Tony Bennett_sentence_172

Bennett has sold over 50 million records worldwide during his career. Tony Bennett_sentence_173

Accolades came to Bennett. Tony Bennett_sentence_174

For his contribution to the recording industry, Tony Bennett was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1560 Vine Street. Tony Bennett_sentence_175

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_176

In 2002, Q magazine named Tony Bennett in its list of the "50 Bands To See Before You Die". Tony Bennett_sentence_177

On December 4, 2005, Bennett was the recipient of a Kennedy Center Honor. Tony Bennett_sentence_178

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". Tony Bennett_sentence_179

The following year, Bennett was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame. Tony Bennett_sentence_180

Bennett frequently donates his time to charitable causes, to the extent that he is sometimes nicknamed "Tony Benefit". Tony Bennett_sentence_181

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_182

He has also recorded public service announcements for Civitan International. Tony Bennett_sentence_183

In the late 1980s, Bennett entered into a long-term romantic relationship with Susan Crow, a former New York City schoolteacher. Tony Bennett_sentence_184

Susan Marion Crow, born September 9, 1966, is 40 years junior to Tony and had grown up in a family of Bennett fans, and as it happened the singer had once posed with Crow's mother, Marion, while she was pregnant with her. Tony Bennett_sentence_185

And as a teenager, Crow had been the head of the Bay Area fan club for Bennett. Tony Bennett_sentence_186

Bennett and Crow founded Exploring the Arts, a charitable organization dedicated to creating, promoting, and supporting arts education. Tony Bennett_sentence_187

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_188

On June 21, 2007, Bennett married Crow in a private civil ceremony in New York that was witnessed by former Governor Mario Cuomo. Tony Bennett_sentence_189

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 opened Bennett Studios in Englewood, New Jersey in 2001, now shuttered due to the downturn of major label budgets combined with skyrocketing overhead. Tony Bennett_sentence_190

Tony's younger daughter Antonia is an aspiring jazz singer who opens shows for her father. Tony Bennett_sentence_191

2006–present: Bennett continues to perform Tony Bennett_section_9

In August 2006, Bennett turned eighty years old. Tony Bennett_sentence_192

The birthday itself was an occasion for publicity, which then extended through the rest of the following year. Tony Bennett_sentence_193

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_194

He received the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees' Humanitarian Award. Tony Bennett_sentence_195

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_196

In 2008 Bennett made 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. Tony Bennett_sentence_197

In 2009, Bennett 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. Tony Bennett_sentence_198

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_199

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_200

Days later he sang "America the Beautiful" at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear in Washington, D.C., which he reprised ten years later in a segment on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert." Tony Bennett_sentence_201

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_202

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." Tony Bennett_sentence_203

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_204

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." Tony Bennett_sentence_205

In September 2011, Bennett released Duets II, a follow-up to his first collaboration album, in conjunction with his 85th birthday. Tony Bennett_sentence_206

He sings duets with seventeen prominent singers of varying techniques, including Aretha Franklin, Willie Nelson, Queen Latifah, and Lady Gaga. Tony Bennett_sentence_207

Bennett appeared on the season 2 premiere of the television procedural Blue Bloods performing "It Had To Be You" with Carrie Underwood. Tony Bennett_sentence_208

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_209

The single did well in Europe, where it reached the top 15 in several countries. Tony Bennett_sentence_210

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_211

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). Tony Bennett_sentence_212

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_213

In December 2011, Bennett appeared at the Royal Variety Performance in Salford in the presence of Princess Anne. Tony Bennett_sentence_214

In the wake of the premature deaths of Winehouse and Whitney Houston, Bennett called for the legalization of drugs in February 2012. Tony Bennett_sentence_215

In October 2012, Bennett released Viva Duets, an album of Latin American music duets, featuring Vicente Fernández, Juan Luis Guerra, and Vicentico among others. Tony Bennett_sentence_216

The recording and filming for the project, in Fort Lauderdale, was co-sponsored by the city. Tony Bennett_sentence_217

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_218

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_219

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_220

He also made a surprise cameo appearance on stage with Lady Gaga at Hayarkon Park, Tel Aviv, the previous evening. Tony Bennett_sentence_221

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_222

At the end of 2014, Bennett and Lady Gaga kicked off their co-headlining Cheek to Cheek Tour. Tony Bennett_sentence_223

The pair also appeared in a Barnes & Noble commercial. Tony Bennett_sentence_224

On September 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. Tony Bennett_sentence_225

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_226

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_227

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". Tony Bennett_sentence_228

Bennett had first sung the song at the hotel in 1961. Tony Bennett_sentence_229

That same year, he performed at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 24 and the Rockefeller Center tree lighting on November 30. Tony Bennett_sentence_230

On December 20, 2016, NBC televised a special concert in honor of his 90th birthday. Tony Bennett_sentence_231

In September 2018, Bennett re-recorded the George Gershwin song "Fascinating Rhythm", after 68 years and 342 days, according to the Guinness adjudicator, earning the title of "longest time between the release of an original recording and a re-recording of the same single by the same artist". Tony Bennett_sentence_232

The song appeared on the collaborative album Love Is Here to Stay with Diana Krall that was released on September 14. Tony Bennett_sentence_233

Artistry Tony Bennett_section_10

Painting Tony Bennett_section_11

Bennett has also had success as a painter, done under his real name of Anthony Benedetto or just Benedetto. Tony Bennett_sentence_234

He followed up his childhood interest with professional training, work, and museum visits throughout his life. Tony Bennett_sentence_235

He sketches or paints every day, often of views out of hotel windows when he is on tour. Tony Bennett_sentence_236

He has exhibited his work in numerous galleries around the world. Tony Bennett_sentence_237

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_238

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_239

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. Tony Bennett_sentence_240

Many of his works were published in the art book Tony Bennett: What My Heart Has Seen in 1996. Tony Bennett_sentence_241

In 2007, another book involving his paintings, Tony Bennett in the Studio: A Life of Art & Music, became a best-seller among art books. Tony Bennett_sentence_242

Musical style Tony Bennett_section_12

Regarding his choices in music, Bennett reiterated his artistic stance in a 2010 interview: Tony Bennett_sentence_243

Awards and recognition Tony Bennett_section_13

Bennett has won 20 Grammy Awards including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, as follows (years shown are the year in which the ceremony was held and the award was given, not the year in which the recording was released): Tony Bennett_sentence_244

Tony Bennett_unordered_list_0

Bennett has won two Emmy Awards, as follows (years shown are the year in which the ceremony was held and the award was given, not the year in which the program aired): Tony Bennett_sentence_245

Tony Bennett_unordered_list_1

Bennett has gained other notable recognition: Tony Bennett_sentence_246

Tony Bennett_unordered_list_2


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony Bennett.