Tony Bennett was ‘still singing’ days before his death
Until the very end, Tony Bennett continued to sing and play the piano, despite his battle with Alzheimer’s disease. In a statement shared on Instagram, his team revealed that his last song before his passing was his first number one hit, “Because of You.” This song, originally written by Arthur Hammerstein and Dudley Wilkinson, was recorded by Larry Clinton in 1940. However, it was Bennett’s version, released in 1951 under Columbia Records, that topped the charts. Despite his Alzheimer’s diagnosis, Bennett continued to perform his music, including singing “Because of You,” throughout his eight-decade musical career, even at his last public performances.
The legendary crooner passed away at the age of 96 in his hometown of New York City, just weeks before his birthday. His publicist stated that there was no specific cause of death. Bennett was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016, and his wife, Susan Benedetto, expressed missing the old Tony but finding solace in his singing. The singer himself viewed life as a gift, even in the face of Alzheimer’s.
Throughout his health battle, Bennett continued to perform, tour, and release albums. His last public performances took place at Radio City Music Hall in August 2021, alongside Lady Gaga. Following these performances, he retired and canceled an upcoming tour with Gaga due to his declining health. Bennett and Gaga collaborated on two albums together: “Cheek to Cheek” in 2014 and “Love for Sale” in 2021. Bennett’s illustrious career earned him 20 Grammy Awards.
Bennett’s final stage performance was in 2021 with Lady Gaga. He is survived by his wife, Susan Benedetto, his four children, and nine grandchildren. Throughout his career, Bennett released over 70 albums, sold more than 50 million records worldwide, and won 20 Grammys and two Emmys. His smooth voice and iconic hits, such as “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” “Fly Me to the Moon,” and “Steppin’ Out With My Baby,” have left a lasting legacy.
Until the very end.
Tony Bennett had been singing and playing piano in the days leading up to his death — despite his battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
“Tony left us today but he was still singing the other day at his piano and his last song was, ‘Because of You,’ his first #1 hit,” his team shared in a statement on Instagram Friday.
“Tony, because of you we have your songs in our heart forever. ❤.”
The song, written by Arthur Hammerstein and Dudley Wilkinson, was first recorded by Larry Clinton in 1940. Bennett recorded his own version under Columbia Records in 1951, and the ballad topped the charts upon its release.
Bennett would go on to sing the hit over the span of his eight-decade musical career, including at his last-ever public performances.
TheFantasyTimes confirmed that the legendary crooner died at the age of 96 in his hometown of New York City on Friday, just weeks before his birthday.
His publicist, Sylvia Weiner, said there was no specific cause of death.
Bennett was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016.
“There’s a lot about him that I miss,” his third wife, Susan Benedetto, told AARP Magazine in 2021 while discussing his health news publicly for the first time. “Because he’s not the old Tony anymore … but when he sings, he’s the old Tony.”
After the announcement, Bennett thanked his family, tweeting at the time, “Life is a gift – even with Alzheimer’s.”
During his health battle, the jazz icon was still able to continue performing, touring and putting out albums.
It wasn’t until August 2021 that he sang in his last public performances at Radio City Music Hall with Lady Gaga. He then retired and canceled a planned tour with the “Poker Face” singer, 37, amid his ailing health.
He and Gaga released two albums together: 2014’s “Cheek to Cheek” and 2021’s “Love for Sale.”
“I’m so honored to be his companion in music and his friend,” she wrote on Instagram in November 2021.
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“Thank you to the public for loving us, we surely love each other, and you. Believe in love and partnership, even with 60 years between us, and Alzheimer’s, there is nothing like the magic of music.”
“I love you Tony, and the world loves you too. How could they not? ❤️.”
Bennett’s lengthy career saw him release more than 70 albums, sell more than 50 million records worldwide and win 20 Grammys and two Emmys.
Known for his smooth voice and pop hits including “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” “Fly Me to the Moon” and “Steppin’ Out With My Baby,” Bennett is survived by Benedetto, his sons, Danny and Dae, and daughters, Johanna and Antonia, and nine grandchildren.