Tony Bennett Has Died; Cause Of Death

He was 96 years old...

Pop, jazz and easy listening master Tony Bennett has died.

News of the singer’s passing was confirmed a few moments ago – he was 96 years old. Two years ago, Tony Bennett revealed he was dealing with the impact of Alzheimer’s Disease, and retired from the stage shortly afterwards.

Born Anthony Dominick Benedetto in Astoria, Queens, New York, he was raised in poverty, becoming a singer while still in his teens. Drafted into the United States armed forces in 1944, he finished the Second World War singing in a forces band.

Working hard to gain his big break, it took a chance encounter with Bob Hope in a New York club to truly propel his career. Signed to Columbia Records, Tony Bennett became a perennial hitmaker during the 50s, his easy going jazz-leaning style survived the birth of rock ‘n’ roll before his star began to dim in the 70s.

The 80s brought a Renaissance of sorts, a series of assured albums combining with Late Night television slots propelling Tony Bennett back to stardom. Known for his incredible work ethic – he would play 100s of shows per year, without fail – he matched small combos against lush orchestral work.

In all, Tony Bennett won 18 Grammy Awards (with 36 total nominations), and a Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient in 2001. He also garnered two Emmy Awards.

Younger generations frequently became enraptured by his breadth of experience – Tony Bennett was lauded by Red Hot Chili Peppers, and recorded alongside Amy Winehouse and Lady Gaga, amongst others.

Music was a lifelong passion for Tony Bennett, but so too was painting – he studied both at New York’s High School of Industrial Art, and was able to exhibit his art on numerous occasions.

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