80 Facts About Tony Bennett


Tony Bennett was named an NEA Jazz Master and a Kennedy Center Honoree, and is the founder of the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria, Queens, New York.


Tony Bennett fought in the final stages of World War II as a US Army infantryman in the European Theater.


Tony Bennett then refined his approach to encompass jazz singing.


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


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


Tony 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 continued to create popular and critically praised work into the 21st century.


Tony Bennett attracted renewed acclaim late in his career for his collaboration with Lady Gaga, which began with the album Cheek to Cheek ; the two performers toured together to promote the album throughout 2014 and 2015.


Tony Bennett broke the Guinness World Record for the oldest person to release an album of new material, at the age of 95 years and 60 days.


In February 2021, it was revealed that Tony Bennett was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2016.


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


Tony Bennett grew up with an older sister, Mary, and an older brother, John Jr.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Unlike Tony 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.


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


Nevertheless, Tony Bennett continued to enjoy success, placing eight songs in the Billboard during the latter part of the 1950s, with "In the Middle of an Island" reaching the highest at number nine in 1957.


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


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


Tony Bennett 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.


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


Also in 1962, Tony 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.


An attempt to break into acting with a role in the poorly received 1966 film The Oscar met with middling reviews for Tony Bennett; he did not enjoy the experience and did not seek further roles.


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


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


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


Henry Mancini's theme song "Life in a Looking Glass" from the motion picture "That's Life", sung by Tony Bennett, received a nomination at the Oscars for Best Original Song.


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


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


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


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, won the top Grammy prize of Album of the Year.


In concert, Tony Bennett often made a point of singing one song without any microphone or amplification, demonstrating his skills at vocal projection.


Tony 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 in 2002.


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


Tony Bennett has recorded public service announcements for Civitan International.


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


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


Tony 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.


In 2008, Tony Bennett made two appearances with Billy Joel singing "New York State of Mind" 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.


In February 2010, Tony 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.


In September 2011, Tony 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.


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


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


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


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


On October 31,2012, Tony 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 published another memoir, Life is a Gift: The Zen of Bennett, and a documentary film produced by his son Danny was released, titled The Zen of Bennett.


In September 2014, Tony 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 made a surprise cameo appearance on stage with Lady Gaga at Hayarkon Park, Tel Aviv, the previous evening.


On November 1,2015, Tony 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 had first sung the song at the hotel in 1961.


On December 20,2016, NBC televised a special concert in honor of his 90th birthday, called Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best Is Yet to Come.


In September 2018, Tony Bennett re-recorded the George Gershwin song "Fascinating Rhythm", after 68 years and 342 days, according to the Guinness World Records 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 broke the individual record for the longest span of top-10 albums on the Billboard 200 chart for any living artist; his first top-10 record was I Left My Heart in San Francisco in 1962.


Tony Bennett broke the Guinness World Record for the oldest person to release an album of new material, at the age of 95 years and 60 days.


Tony Bennett's last televised performance was with Gaga on December 16,2021, in MTV Unplugged.


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


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


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


Tony Bennett 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's painting Homage to Hockney is on permanent display at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio.


Tony Bennett has won 20 Grammy Awards including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, as follows :.


On February 12,1952, Tony 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 had become involved with aspiring actress Sandra Grant while filming The Oscar in 1965.


Susan Marion Crow, born September 9,1966 and 40 years younger than Tony Bennett, grew up in a family of devoted fans of the singer.


Tony Bennett had once posed for a photograph with Crow's mother, Marion, while she was pregnant with her.


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


In February 2021, an article in AARP Magazine revealed that Tony Bennett had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2016, though he continued to perform and record until the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020.


Tony Bennett's neurologist told AARP that, prior to the pandemic, the singer's touring schedule "kept him on his toes and stimulated his brain in a significant way".


Tony Bennett had only started showing symptoms of decline in the two years leading up to the article's publication.