"Tony" Benedetto (born August 3, 1926), known by his stage name Tony Bennett, is an American artist of pop standards, band, show tunes, and jazz. He is also a painter, and has created works that are also published in art book. Moreover, they are also on public display in several institutions. He is also the founder of the famous Frank Sinatra School of the Arts situated in Astoria, Queens, New York. He has also sung a lot of duets with many prominent singers of varying techniques. Also he has performed a number of concerts and tour.
Bennett was raised in a poor family. His father died when he was 9. While he attended the High School in the Industrial Arts in New York City, he started working as a singer. After serving in the Army infantry in second world war, he studied singing and acting at the American Theatre Wing where his coach Mimi Spear offered advice no to imitate other singers but emulate instrumentalists instead.
The young singer was identified by Pearl Bailey in Greenwich Village and then hired by Bob Hope in 1949. Hope advised him to adapt the name Tony Bennett and put him in his road shows. Bennett signed with Columbia Records in the year 1950 and started working with producer Mitch Miller. His early hits were "Rags to Riches," "Because of You” , "Stranger in Paradise." His most famous and beloved song, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco," was released in 1962. It also earned Bennett his first ever Grammy Award.
Bennett was married to Patricia Beech and divorced in 1971. Again, he was married to Sandra Gant and they officially divorced in 1983. Now Bennett is in a relationship with Susan Crow.
Bennett is in a relationship with Susan Crow. He married his wife Susan Crow in 2007.
Bennett's success led to some differences between the singer and his record company. His interest in singing quality made him want to try new songs, music videos and new kinds of music. Columbia, however, wanted to repeat his early styles. After two decades of recording with Columbia, however, he was told not to have any new songs. Company wanted Bennett to cover his top 10 hits. Soon, Bennett broke up with the company, formed his own label as well as recorded on others. Bennett ended up taking a long break from recording, being away from the studios for before he made the 1986 album named The Art of Excellence.
Bennett's break from recording also created some difficult times for this singer. He moved to California in the 1970s and began using various drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, drugs that were a part of the celebrity party. A near-death experience in the bathtub and the memory of Lenny Bruce's death scared Bennett into changing his drug habits. Bennett was also moving on with a change in the audience's taste in popular music as well as dominance of rock and roll. At the start of his career, pop music appealed to all the ages. Bennett mentions that young generations were being acknowledged that rock music belonged only to them. Moreover, the music market was also focused on young generations and was squeezing adults who bought his albums from the record stores. Bennett has won a huge total of 19 Grammy Awards including a celebrated Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. He holds an estimate net worth of 110 million US dollars.