The world is in mourning today after the death of Tony Bennett, who died early this morning at the age 96. Now, new details are coming to light about the legendary singer’s passing.
Tony Bennett has died at the age of 96. pic.twitter.com/gz5uFcZlpz
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) July 21, 2023
Bennett Passes Away After Alzheimer’s Battle
“Tony Bennett, born Anthony Dominick Benedetto in Astoria, Queens on August 3, 1926, has passed away in his hometown of New York City at the age of 96 earlier today,” Bennett’s rep told People Magazine. “The beloved singer, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2016, is survived by his wife, Susan Benedetto, his two sons, Danny and Dae Bennett, his daughters Johanna Bennett and Antonia Bennett and 9 grandchildren.”
Daily Mail reported that Bennett’s death comes just two weeks before what would have been his 97th birthday. While no official cause of death has been given at this time, Bennett had been battling Alzheimer’s disease in recent years after being diagnosed in 2016. He fought this condition privately until 2021, when he decided to go public with it.
Bennett’s wife, who became his primary caregiver, told AARP The Magazine at the time that Bennett was “not always sure where he is or what is happening around him” and that “mundane objects as familiar as a fork or a set of house keys can be utterly mysterious to him.”
Gayatri Devi, Bennett’s neurologist, credited music with helping Bennett with his fight against Alzheimer’s.
“It kept him on his toes and also stimulated his brain in a significant way,” Devi explained. “He is doing so many things, at 94, that many people without dementia cannot do. He really is the symbol of hope for someone with a cognitive disorder.”
“Life is a gift — even with Alzheimer’s,” Bennett’s official Twitter account tweeted at the time.
Life is a gift – even with Alzheimer’s. Thank you to Susan and my family for their support, and @AARP The Magazine for telling my story.
Read more here:https://t.co/R05A4jc5BF⁰
📸 Kelsey Bennett pic.twitter.com/ApxBCpGv0y
— Tony Bennett (@itstonybennett) February 1, 2021
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Bennett had not been seen in public since April, when he was photographed in New York City in a wheelchair. It’s understood that this was one of the last times he ever left his home.
Born in New York City in 1926, Bennett got his start in music while studying at the American Theatre Wing, according to NBC News. He got his big break in 1949 when he was discovered by the legendary African American singer Pearl Bailey, who hired him to open for her.
Bennett signed with Columbia Records the next year and quickly found success with hits like “Rags to Riches” and “Because of You.” His signature song “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” came out in 1962, and this is what cemented him as an A-list entertainer.
RIP Tony Bennett.
“I Left My Heart In San Francisco” pic.twitter.com/DejXt118Rl
— Clayton Baker (@IGIF_) July 21, 2023
After a career dip in the 1980s that saw him struggle with drugs, Bennett launched a hugely successful comeback in the 1990s, when he found himself being embraced by the MTV generation as he recorded duets with young pop stars.
“It wasn’t a surprise at all,” Bennett told The Independent in 2011 of this resurgence. “And I’ll tell you why. Good music is good music. I’m not concerned with whether someone who listens to me is old or young. In fact, in many ways, I’m not interested in the young at all. I’m interested in age. People learn to live properly when they get of an age, you know?”
“The late Duke Ellington once said to me that he was really offended by the word ‘category,’” he continued. “Music has no category; it’s either good or it isn’t, and I sing good songs, great songs, written by the best songwriters. It’s that kind of quality that makes them last. Trust me, people will be singing these songs forever.”
Smile though your heart is aching…because we were so lucky to have had Tony Bennett’s amazing voice in our lives for so long
Sleep well, Mr Benedetto ♥️
— Tara Dublin ((isn’t paying for this)) 🖕🏻🖕🏻🖕🏻 (@taradublinrocks) July 21, 2023
Bennett performed publicly for the last time at Radio City Music Hall on August 3 and 5, 2021 in celebration of his 95th birthday. He was a true legend, and there will never be another one like him.
Please join us in saying a prayer for Bennett’s family and friends during this difficult time.
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