Tony Bennett is one of the world’s best jazz singers. He has impressed the world for decades with solo albums, collaborations, and dozens of live performances, and his voice and energy make him one of the most beloved artists of all time.
Born in Queens, New York, as Anthony Dominick Benedetto on August 3, 1929, Tony Bennett was born to be a singer. By age ten, he was singing publicly, and by thirteen, he was working as a singing waiter in several restaurants in Queens.
Although Bennett knew he wanted to become a professional singer, he had to take several low-paying jobs over the years to support his family and served in the US Army during WW2, putting off his inevitable fame until he returned and the way was over.
He studied at the American Theater Wing and learned bel canto singing technique, which would enable him to safely sing and keep his voice intact for the next 70 years.
In 1950 Bennett caught his big break by cutting a demo for Columbia Records. At the time, Sinatra was singing for Columbia, and they were known for being a massive name in the business.
Tony was warned not to follow too closely in Sinatra’s footsteps, and although he sang as a crooner, his first hit, Because of You, was totally his own. It quickly reached number one on the charts and remained there for ten weeks. It sold millions of copies and put Bennetts’s name on the board; however, trouble was on the horizon.
Many of us only remember Tony Bennett as being incredibly popular for the last 70 years, but from 1965 to 1979, the singer had a rough time. His songs weren’t gaining recognition as they used to, and he wasn’t booking shows. Bennett had been asked to sing more contemporary songs by his record label and refused, and going out on his own proved to be tough on his finances.
Luckily for Tony Bennett and everyone who loves his voice, things turned around, and he made a classic comeback! Bennett didn’t need to change his sound; he just needed to get it back out there. His son booked him on several late-night shows, charity concerts, and even on an MTV awards show.
The younger crowd had never heard anything like it, and Tony was right back in the spotlight.
Some of Bennett’s most popular songs over the past three-quarters of a century have been collaborations with some of the industry’s most incredible artists. He has sung with almost everyone worth mentioning and even recorded a song with Lady Gaga this year!
Bennett performed all over the world until 2021 when he confirmed that his Alzheimer’s disease had finally made it too challenging to go on stage.
Tony Bennett is not only a household name, but he is also one of the most important and influential artists in the world, and his songs will live on forever as some of the best of all time.