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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. Bennett is also a painter, having created works under his birth name that are on permanent public display in several institutions. He is the founder of the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria, Queens, New York.
Bennett began singing at an early age. He fought in the final stages of World War II as a U.S. Army infantryman in the European Theater. Afterward, he developed his singing technique, signed with Columbia Records and had his first number-one popular song with "Because of You" in 1951. Several tracks such as "Rags to Riches" followed in early 1953. He then refined his approach to encompass jazz singing. He reached an artistic peak in the late 1950s with albums such as The Beat of My Heart and Basie Swings, Bennett Sings. In 1962, Bennett recorded his signature song, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco". His career and personal life experienced an extended downturn during the height of the rock music era. 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. He remains a popular and critically praised recording artist and concert performer to date. His work includes a collaboration with Lady Gaga, having toured and recorded two albums together, Cheek to Cheek (2014) and Love for Sale (2021).
He has won 20 Grammy Awards (including a Lifetime Achievement Award presented in 2001) and two Primetime Emmy Awards, and was named an NEA Jazz Master and a Kennedy Center Honoree. Bennett has sold over 50 million records worldwide.
In February 2021, it was revealed that Bennett was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2016. Due to the slow progression of his illness, he continued to record, tour, and perform until his unrelated retirement from concert performances in August 2021.
September 3rd, 2021
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