Tony Bennett, a luminary in the realm of classic crooners, forever immortalized through his signature tune, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” has left us at the age of 96, confirms his enduring publicist, Sylvia Weiner.
Friday witnessed the fall of a legend.
Previously in 2021, the veil was lifted on Bennett’s four-year-long private battle with Alzheimer’s disease, a diagnosis officially made in 2016. This revelation was all the more poignant, as fans had been largely oblivious to his diminishing health, courtesy of his unwavering commitment to the stage.
Regardless of the accolades accumulated, the countless exhaustive hours on the road, or the innumerable renditions of his beloved song, Bennett was known to often jest that he hadn’t spent a single day at work – a testament to the unadulterated passion he had for performance.
Bennett’s extraordinary career, reaching over eight decades, witnessed him awe industry titans such as Bob Hope and Frank Sinatra, command live performances on MTV, leave his animated mark on “The Simpsons,” and lend his legendary voice to two collaborative albums with Lady Gaga.
His humble beginnings as a singing waiter at a New York eatery were but a prologue. Even then, merely 15, Bennett was resolute in his career path.
“I just decided that … I would love to become successful, and if I didn’t, I’m going to do this the rest of my life,” he confessed to Larry King in a 1998 CNN interview. “I loved it.”
Bennett’s legacy lives on through his wife, Susan Benedetto, his sons, Danny and Dae Bennett, daughters Johanna Bennett and Antonia Bennett, along with nine grandchildren. His music, indubitably, continues to resonate in the hearts of millions worldwide.