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American Legend Tony Bennett Dead At 96

Tony Bennett, the true American legend died at age 96. His career spanned 70 years. Bennett died in his hometown of New York, his publicist Sylvia Weiner confirmed today.

“I enjoy entertaining the audience, making them forget their problems,” he said in 2006. “I think people are touched if they hear something that’s sincere and honest and maybe has a little sense of humor. I just like to make people feel good when I perform.”

“No country has given the world such great music,” Bennett said in a 2015 interview. “Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern. Those songs will never die.”

Sinatra said about him: “For my money, Tony Bennett is the best singer in the business. He excites me when I watch him. He moves me. 

“He’s the singer who gets across what the composer has in mind, and probably a little more.”

According to Hollywood Reporter:

The recipient of 20 Grammy Awards — including a Lifetime Achievement honor presented in 2001 — he earned his final trophy in April 2022 for his work with Gaga on the album Love for Sale, his second acclaimed collaboration with her, becoming the second-oldest winner in history.

He sold in the neighborhood of 60 million records and charted albums in every decade from the 1950s to the 2020s.

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Bennett’s initial taste of superstardom came with the longing ballad “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” which he first recorded in early 1962 after his arranger and pianist Ralph Sharon brought the song to him after Tennessee Ernie Ford passed on it.

Written by George Cory and Douglass Cross, two Bay Area transplants who had relocated to New York, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” was placed on the B-side of “Once Upon a Time” by Columbia Records.

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