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  • Jul 21, 2023

The 20-time Grammy Winning Singer and Humanitarian Bridged Generations During His Career that Spanned over 7 Decades

NEW YORK, July 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Tony Bennett, born Anthony Dominick Benedetto in Astoria, Queens on August 3rd, 1926, has passed away in his hometown of New York City at the age of 96 earlier today. The beloved singer, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2016, is survived by his wife, Susan Benedetto, his two sons, Danny and Dae Bennett, his daughters Johanna Bennett and Antonia Bennett and 9 grandchildren.

Bennett’s unparalleled career history began when he signed with Columbia Records in 1950 and has spanned over 70 years. His last public concert performances were held at Radio City Music Hall on August 3rd and 5th, in celebration of his 95th birthday.  Lady Gaga, Bennett’s long-time and most frequent musical collaborator in the last ten years joined Bennett for the sold-out performances.   Bennett had his first #1 single in 1951 with “Because of You” and made music industry history by being the oldest performer, twice, to have a #1 album on the Billboard Top 200 Albums at the age of 85 and 88.  He has received 20 Grammy awards including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, two Emmy Awards, was named a Kennedy Center Honoree, a Gershwin Prize Honoree and a NEA Jazz Master during his career.   He won his last Grammy Award for the collaborative album with Lady Gaga, “LOVE FOR SALE,” which was released in 2021.

Having served as a foot soldier in World War II, and among his experiences during that time was the liberation of a Nazi war camp in Germany, he became a life-long pacifist and humanitarian.

Bennett marched with Dr. Martin Luther King in Selma in 1965 and was a supporter of human rights for all, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, and gender.   A life-long visual artist he painted for most of his life and three of his paintings are part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution.  With his wife, Susan Benedetto, he founded a non-profit, Exploring the Arts, to provide support and funding for arts education in public high schools and as part of that endeavor founded the New York City public high school, Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, in his hometown in Astoria, Queens.

In later life, when Tony Bennett was asked in interviews how he wanted to be remembered he would often say, “As a nice person.”

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SOURCE Columbia Records

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