“To me, life is a gift, and it’s a blessing to just be alive. And each person should learn what a gift it is to be alive no matter how tough things get.”
— Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett really sounds great at 95 years old.
Check out his duets with Lady Gaga below.
After two sell out concerts at Radio Music Hall in New York City, though, his doctor has finally convinced him to retire.
Tony’s won 20 Grammy Awards, a Lifetime Achievement Award, two Primetime Emmys and was honored as both an NEA Jazz Master and Kennedy Center Honoree. He’s sold over 50 million records worldwide.
Tony grew up during the Great Depression and lost his father when he was 10 years old. His mother worked as a seamstress to support the family and he said he got his start as a singer and entertainer when extended family members would come over to the house on Sundays and he would get to sing for them and make them happy.
He attended the High School of Industrial Arts in Manhattan and further developed his love of singing and painting.
About his dyslexia, Tony has said:
“I’ve always had a bit of dyslexia, so it’s hard for me to read proficiently. It’s very difficult. My eyes bounce, so it’s difficult for me to follow musically that way. I have to do it instinctively and intuitively.
I just have to work a lot slower. It comes a lot slower. But good learning takes a long time,” he says. “To really learn something, you have to keep doing it until it appears effortless. So it takes time.”
Tony has been friends with Lady Gaga for years and she shared how he “saved her life” and convinced her to keep singing when she was thinking of giving it up completely.
He told her that she was a sophisticated lady and that personally he would never give up singing. It made her think and today she credits him with helping her enjoy singing again.
Tony was discovered by Generation X when he appeared on MTV in the early 1990’s. He would go on to sing duets with Dixie Chicks, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, K.D. Lang, Celine Dion, John Legend, and Diane Krall. In Duets II, he sang duets with Amy Winehouse, Natalie Cole, Faith Hill, Andrea Bocelli, Carrie Underwood, and Lady Gaga.
Here’s Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga in CBS Good Morning.
Tony in his studio Benedetto Arts (Benedetto is his original family name).
“My whole life has been just singing and painting. I just do those two things.” – Tony Bennett