Pop Music Legend Tony Bennett, Dead at 96

(Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)

Pop music legend Tony Bennett, whose resonant voice helped sell millions of records worldwide during his decades-long career, has died at age 96.

via Variety:

Tony Bennett, the master pop vocalist who had a professional career spanning eight decades with a No. 1 album at age 85, died on Friday morning in New York City. He was 96.

Bennett was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016, but had continued to perform and record through 2021.

His peer Frank Sinatra called him the greatest popular singer in the world. His recordings – most of them made for Columbia Records, which signed him in 1950 – were characterized by ebullience, immense warmth, vocal clarity and emotional openness. A gifted and technically accomplished interpreter of the Great American Songbook, he may be best known for his signature 1962 hit “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” […]


Bennett’s official cause of death has not been announced. Variety’s piece continues:

Active as a recording artist from 1949, and one of the top pop performers in the ‘50s and early ‘60s, Bennett saw his career surge anew in the ‘90s and again in the new millennium, under the management of his son Danny.

In later years, he memorably dueted on the standard “Body and Soul” with Amy Winehouse, and released a full-length duet album with Diana Krall….

Then most recently, Bennett teamed up with modern pop star and actress Lady Gaga for fun, fresh takes on classic jazz/pop standards like “I’ve Got You Under My Skin and “I Get A Kick Out Of You.” They even recorded two albums together. And perhaps it was extra special for Bennett, when the second album, 2021’s “Love For Sale,” took home a Grammy award.

You can best grasp the electric chemistry between the duo by watching a segment of CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” about Bennett’s final live show, at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall, in 2022. As he pushed through the symptoms of Alzheimer’s to entertain his fans one last time, Gaga was by her friend’s side every step of the way. She told host Anderson Cooper:


It’s hard to watch somebody change. I think what’s been beautiful about this and what’s been challenging is to see how it affects him in some ways but to see how it doesn’t affect his talent. I think he really pushed through something to give the world the gift of knowing things can change and you can still be magnificent.

When that music comes on … something happens to him. He knows exactly what he’s doing.

Here’s a clip of the “60 Minutes” piece, but you can watch the full episode here:

“Today” reports that Lady Gaga hasn’t yet commented on Bennett’s death. But I’m guessing she will at some point.

One easy way to remember the legend over the next few days is right at your fingertips, too: PlutoTV channel, MTV Biggest Pop is playing a marathon of videos to honor him all weekend (and just like I previously mentioned with the late Betty White’s pranks program, it’s 100 percent free to tune in)!

R.I.P., legend.



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