The well-known American singer Tony Bennett, real name Anthony Dominick Benedetto, has over 70 records to his credit. He is most known for his studio albums The Beat of My Heart, I Left My Heart in San Francisco, To My Wonderful One, A Time for Love, and Life Is Beautiful as well as his live albums Tony Bennett at Carnegie Hall, That San Francisco Sun, and MTV Unplugged: Tony Bennett. Additionally, he has released a number of hit singles, including, to name a few, “Rags to Riches,” “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” “Here in My Heart,” “Stranger in Paradise,” “The Autumn Waltz,” “One for My Baby,” “Young and Warm and Wonderful,” “It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie,” and “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.” In addition to being a vocalist, Bennett is a skilled painter whose works are frequently on exhibit in public places. Additionally, he established the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in New York. Bennett has received a great deal of recognition thus far. In addition to a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and two Emmy Awards, he has won 19 Grammy Awards.
Early Childhood & Life
On August 3, 1926, in Astoria, Queens, New York, Anthony Dominick Benedetto was given the name Tony Bennett. His father John Benedetto, a butcher, and mother Anna Suraci, a seamstress, both passed away when Tony was 10 years old. Alongside his two older siblings, he grew up.
Tony began singing at the age of ten. Additionally, he grew to adore the fine arts. He applied to the School of Industrial Art in New York. However, he left school at age 16 to help his impoverished family.
At first, he worked as a copyboy for the Associated Press and took on a number of other part-time jobs with poor compensation. Later, he started making appearances as a singing waiter at parties, events, restaurants, and nightclubs all throughout the city.
Tony Benedetto’s Career
Benedetto enlisted in the American Army in November 1944 as World War II came to an end. He performed in the 314th Army Special Services Band and went by the stage name Joe Bari while he was there.
Benedetto returned to the United States after being released from service in 1946 and continued performing wherever he could. In 1949, he also produced a few records, but they were not successful.
Soon after, the singer/actress Pearl Bailey noticed his skill and requested that he perform for her as the event’s opening act. Benedetto received a chance from Bob Hope, who was also invited to the performance. Hope later gave Benedetto the name “Tony Bennett” and got him a record deal with Columbia Records.
Bennett started off as a pop song vocalist in the music industry. His ballad was his debut single “Mitch Miller was the producer of “Because of You.” Miller kept composing all of Bennett’s early songs after the song’s commercial breakthrough. “Blue Velvet,” another song by the latter, went on to gain a lot of popularity.
With his “Rags to Riches” song, the singer achieved recognition once more in 1953. Soon later, as a means of promoting their products, the creators of the Broadway musical “Kismet” asked Bennett to perform “Stranger in Paradise.” Not only in the USA but also in the UK, the song became a tremendous hit.
The American singer issued his debut extended play album, named “Cloud 7,” in 1955. He released the album “The Beat of My Heart” two years later. Famous jazz artists Nat Adderley and Herbie Mann played on this album.
Bennett continued to have success as the rock and roll era began in the mid-1950s, charting “In the Middle of an Island” at number 9 on the Billboard Top 40 in 1957.
Later, Bennett began performing with the Count Basie Orchestra. Their joint albums, “Basie Swings, Bennett Sings” and “In Person,” both were major successes.
The musician released both the album and the song “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” in 1962. The single and album both succeeded in becoming gold records. He released his album, “I Wanna Be Around,” the following year. With the help of the title song and the hit “The Good Life,” this album also went on to become successful.
Tony Bennett had a number of songs and albums based on show tunes during the following couple of years that achieved modest success. Then, at Clive Davis’ insistence, he continued to record “current” rock tunes for Columbia Records. Nobody was happy with the outcomes, as seen by the singer’s 1970 album “Tony Sings the Great Hits of Todayfailure “to make any money.
Bennett made the decision to launch his own record label, Improv, in order to take matters into his own hands. The albums “Together Again,” “The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album,” and “What is This Thing Called Love?” were all issued by this firm.
The American performer had no recording deal by the decade’s end. Then he secured bookings for performances at tiny theaters and colleges. The album “The Art of Excellence,” which Bennett released in 1986 after being re-signed to Columbia Records, became his first chart-topping record since 1972.
He appeared on numerous shows throughout the next years, including The Simpsons, Late Night with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and Muppets Tonight, to mention a few.
Bennett performed a number of concerts across the nation in 1993. He carried on recording and released the popular albums Astoria: Portrait of the Artist, Perfectly Frank, a tribute to Frank Sinatra, and Steppin’ Out, a tribute to Fred Astaire.
His appearance on “MTV Unplugged” in 1994 had the audience in awe. By the end of the 1990s, he had rebuilt his reputation and was doing a large number of shows each year while steadily touring and recording.
Bennett appeared in various TV guest roles in addition to cameo roles in films like “Analyze This,” “The Scout,” and “Bruce Almighty.”
He published the album “Duets: An American Classic” in 2006, and it peaked at number one on the US Jazz Chart. Bennett gave his last performances two years after the CD “A Swingin’ Christmas” was released.
He released “Duets II” in September 2011 and later worked with Amy Winehouse on the song “Soul and Body His “Viva Duets” album was released the next year. Then, in 2014, Bennett gave his first performance ever in Israel. He issued the album “The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern” a year later.
His Bigger Works
Along with musicians like Al Cohn, Candido, Kenny Burrell, and the Ralph Sharon Trio, Tony Bennett put on a concert performance at Carnegie Hall in 1962. About 44 of Bennett’s songs were performed at this concert, including hits like “The Best Is Yet to Come” and “I’ve Got the World on a String.” Bennett’s fame improved as a result of the concert, which was a huge success both domestically and internationally.
Recognition & Achievements
Along with two Emmy Awards, Tony Bennett has also received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (2001). (1996 and 2007).
He is a Kennedy Center Honoree and has received numerous other awards, including the Society of Singers Lifetime Achievement Award and the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award.
Both the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame have recognized him.
The Berklee College of Music, The Art Institute of Boston, George Washington University, and The Juilliard School are just a few of the organizations that have awarded honorary doctorates to the American performer.
His Individual Life
Tony Bennett had three previous marriages. His previous unions with Sandra Grant and Patricia Beech were annulled. He had four children from these two unions, including vocalist Antonia Bennett. In 2007, he wed Susan Crow, his third wife.
Estimated Net Worth
Tony Bennett, an American singer, entertainer, and cultural icon, has a $200 million fortune. Twenty Grammy Awards, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, have been given to Bennett. More than 50 million recordings have been sold globally during his illustrious career.
Bennett almost passed away in 1979 after experiencing a heroin overdose.