Legendary singer, songwriter Tony Bennett dies at age 96

Carolyn Kaster/AP

Tony Bennett, the last of the great saloon singers from the mid-20th century, died Friday. He was 96 years old.

Bennett’s publicist, Sylvia Weiner, confirmed his death to Scripps News on Friday, saying he passed away in his hometown of New York. No specific cause of death was given, but Bennett was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016.

Bennett was well-known for his iconic songs like “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” and “Fly Me to the Moon” during a decades-long career that brought him admirers like Frank Sinatra and, most recently, Lady Gaga, whom he performed with in 2021 to a sold-out crowd at Radio City Music Hall.

Born in 1926 in Queens, New York, Bennett released his first single in 1951 with the song “Because of You,” which launched an unparalleled career that spanned over seven decades and included 19 Grammy Awards. From his smooth crooning classics to captivating collaborations with other musical legends, his soulful and emotional performances left an enduring mark on the industry and beyond.

In 2014, at the age of 88, Bennett became the oldest performer — for a second time — to have an album reach the top of the Billboard 200 chart. He did it previously at the age of 85.

Having served as a soldier in World War II, Bennett became a lifelong pacifist and humanitarian, his publicist said. He also marched with Dr. Martin Luther King in 1965 and was a devoted supporter of human rights. He was also a long-time painter, with three of his works being included in the permanent collection at the Smithsonian Institution.

Along with his wife, Susan Benedetto, Bennett founded the nonprofit group Exploring the Arts to provide support to emerging high school artists.

He is survived by his wife, sons Danny and Dae, daughters Johanna and Antonia and nine grandchildren.

By Scripps News.

Celebrities, Entertainment, News

Related posts

larry david and richard lewis
Larry David's tribute to Richard Lewis perfectly captures their lifelong friendship
Joni Mitchell and Brandi Carlile at the 66th annual Grammy Awards.
Watch Joni Mitchell's moving performance at the 2024 Grammys
Andre Braugher holds his Emmy award
Emmy-winning actor Andre Braugher dies at 61
Matthew Perry
Matthew Perry fans pay tribute at Chandler Bing’s New York apartment

About the Author
Scripps News
Scripps News is the nation’s only free 24/7 national news network. You can find Scripps News using your TV’s digital antenna or stream for free.
See all the ways you can watch Scripps News.

From our partners