Remembering Tony Bennett: The King of the American Songbook, Passes Away at 96

Paying tribute to the legendary Tony Bennett, the king of the American Songbook, who passed away at the age of 96. Explore his remarkable career, love for jazz, and contributions to social causes. #TonyBennett #AmericanSongbook #MusicLegend

#TonyBennett #AmericanSongbook #MusicLegend

Remembering Tony Bennett: The King of the American Songbook, Passes Away at 96

July 21, 2023 | 8:56 AM ET

The music world bids farewell to Tony Bennett, the internationally famous singer whose iconic voice epitomized the American Songbook. The legendary artist, known for his suave crooning and timeless charm, has passed away at the age of 96.

Tony Bennett’s remarkable journey in music continued even in the face of Alzheimer’s disease, which he was diagnosed with in 2016. His passion for performing live and releasing new music persisted, with his second duet album with Lady Gaga, Love For Sale, reaching the Billboard Top 10 when he was 95. In the same year, he bid farewell to his illustrious career with two unforgettable nights at Radio City Music Hall.

Hitting the scene as a suave crooner in the 1950s, Tony Bennett quickly rose to fame as one of radio’s most popular hit-makers. His intimate nightclub sensibility was an integral part of his persona, as age-appropriate as his tailored suits, yet enduringly cool.

Tony Bennett’s musical journey began at the age of 20 when he cut his first sides, including the timeless “St. James Infirmary Blues,” recorded with a U.S. Army band in Germany after World War II.

Born as Anthony Dominick Benedetto in Queens, N.Y., he became known to the world as Tony Bennett, a name given to him by Bob Hope. His upbringing in the Astoria neighborhood was marked by hardship after losing his father at the age of 10. He quit high school and took up odd jobs to support his family.

In an interview with WHYY’s Fresh Air in 1998, Bennett shared that music ran in his family, with his father charming his community with opera melodies back in Italy. Pursuing his love for music, Bennett studied opera and bel canto singing on the G.I. bill, finding his own voice by emulating instrumental phrasing.

Bennett’s breakthrough came in 1950 when producer Mitch Miller at Columbia Records discovered his demo of “The Boulevard Of Broken Dreams.” The subsequent decade witnessed the meteoric rise of Tony Bennett, with millions of records sold and a string of chart-topping hits.

Though renowned as a crooner, Tony Bennett had a deep love for jazz. While he modestly claimed he wasn’t a jazz singer, he possessed an innate sense of rhythm and flow that endeared him to the likes of Duke Ellington and Miles Davis. Embracing his love for jazz, Bennett collaborated with artists like Art Blakey and the Count Basie Orchestra.

1962 marked a turning point in Bennett’s career with the

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