Celebrity Then And Now
Tony Bennett
Name: Tony Bennett
Birthdate: August 3, 1926
Famous Years: 1951-Present
Currently Known For: Love Is Here To Stay
Networth: $200 MillionFamous For: I Left My Heart in San Francisco, Because of You, Rags to Riches
Tony Bennett
Name Tony Bennett
Birthdate August 3, 1926
Famous Years 1951-Present
Currently Known For Love Is Here To Stay
Networth $200 Million
Famous For I Left My Heart in San Francisco, Because of You, Rags to Riches

For more than 60 years, Tony Bennett has been one of the biggest names in all of music and is certainly a living legend. Even to this day, famous musicians will line up to work with Bennett, and his list of duet partners covers just about every genre that you can imagine. From the likes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Lady Gaga to Frank Sinatra and Amy Winehouse, Bennett has worked with just about everybody. At 92 years old, not many would continue singing, but it doesn’t look like Bennett is slowing down.

Bennett was born on August 3, 1926 as Anthony Benedetto in Queens, New York after his parents had immigrated from Italy. As a young man, Bennett would spend much of his time listening to music, saying “I was influenced by George Burns, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby who created the art of entertainment and knew that being on stage wasn’t about pleasing yourself but about pleasing audiences.”

Knowing that he wanted to be a singer himself, Bennett started giving performances before even turning 10 years old, and was earning money for his work by the time he was a teenager when he wasn’t working odd jobs. When it seemed that Bennett was on the verge of getting his break as a singer, he was drafted into the Army during World War II where he saw action on the battlefield, but would survive and eventually return to the United States in 1946.

Bennett got right back into singing and started attracting attention of record studios. He would then be signed to take over Frank Sinatra’s role at Columbia Records, and released his debut single in 1951 with “Because of You” that would end up reaching the top of the Billboard charts. Throughout the 1950s, Bennett would continue to churn out hits such as “Rags to Riches”, but had his biggest hit yet in 1962 with “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”.

Bennett had been a big star for more than a decade at that point, but would see his career start to slow down in the later part of the 1960s, rarely reaching the top 100 on the charts with any of his songs. By the late 1970s, Bennett had reached a low point in his career where he almost passed away from a drug overdose, and decided to turn his life around while also changing his style. It was a turning point for Bennett as he started to garner larger audiences once again, and has since become a crooner that can sell out large venues. Much of his resurgence is thanks in part to his duets with some of the biggest names in modern music.

Out of all of those that Bennett has worked with, he has a handful of favorites that he’s loved working with the most. Bennett always wanted to be just like Frank Sinatra, so naturally that was one of his biggest performances. Some of his other favorites have included “The Wizard of Oz” star Judy Garland, and more recent acts that he praised were Amy Winehouse and k.d. lang. Of course, his recent work with Lady Gaga has had her join the ranks of Bennett’s favorites.

“I love the fact that I got involved with Lady Gaga, as we really understand each other,” he said. “We are both Italian-Americans and our families get along so we have a lot of fun together in the recording studio or on stage. I think she is an artist of exceptional singularity, just like Picasso, and I know she will have a very long career.” In recent years, the two have toured together and even put out an album called “Cheek to Cheek” that reached the top of the Billboard charts and earned a Grammy Award.

Speaking of Grammy Awards, Bennet has earned a total of 20 of them during his illustrious career, with his first two coming back in 1963 for “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”. It would be 30 more years until Bennett won another Grammy, and the rest of them have come ever since. In 2018, Bennett would win his most recent Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for his album “Tony Bennett Celebrates 90”.

It’s been an incredible run that doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon, as Bennett has more than 70 albums released thus far. Many have reached the top of the charts, and he has another album that released in September 2018 called “Love Is Here to Stay” with Diana Krall. Even at his age, Bennett isn’t finished recording and writing, while also celebrating a lifetime of entertaining crowds. After all, it’s the crowds that keep Bennett going.

“I love performing for the public and making people feel good, so if after a performance ends and someone says to their companion, ‘I really enjoyed myself tonight,’ that is the best gift I can receive,” he said. “The interesting thing about touring around the world is it gives you an incredible education, but I have learned over the years that the more you know about other countries and people the more you realize we have much more in common with each other than differences. Honestly, there is no downside of touring for me now as I travel by plane and it’s only one show a night.”