HomeHollywoodSinger and Soundtrack veteran Tony Bennett Dies

Singer and Soundtrack veteran Tony Bennett Dies

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Singer Tony Bennett serenades Honorary Award recipient Eli Wallach during the 2010 Governors Awards in the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland in Hollywood, CA, Saturday, November 13. Todd Wawrychuk / ©A.M.P.A.S.

Tony Bennett, a crooner of the highest order, who was able to re-invent himself several times through the decades, and whose music is all over movie soundtracks, has died. He was 96.

Early Life

Award-winning singer Tony Bennett has died at the age of 96.

Award-winning singer Tony Bennett has died at the age of 96. Photo courtesy of Grammy.com.

Anthony Dominick Benedetto was born on August 3rd, 1926, in Queens to a father who died when he was 10. His mother worked as a seamstress while raising three children. Bennett sang at family gatherings and listened to Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby in his teens before serving in the Army infantry during World War II. He was 18 when he fought in the Battle of the Bulge and helped liberate a concentration camp at Landsberg, Germany.

His military experience informed his political activism after he was reprimanded for spending Thanksgiving with the family of a black fellow soldier.

In New York after the war, Bennett held a series of odd jobs — elevator operator, grocery delivery boy, singing waiter — while using the GI Bill to study voice at the American Theatre Wing, the organization that sponsors the Tony Awards.

He was working under the name Joe Bari in 1949 when comedian Bob Hope invited him to be his opening act at New York’s Paramount Theater. Just before the young singer went onstage, Hope asked him what his real name was. It was Hope who suggested he use the name Tony Bennett, and history was made.

Related Article: Legendary Singer and Actress Tina Turner Has Died at the Age of 83

Music Career

Singer Tony Bennett serenades Honorary Award recipient Eli Wallach during the 2010 Governors Awards in the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland in Hollywood, CA, Saturday, November 13.

Singer Tony Bennett serenades Honorary Award recipient Eli Wallach during the 2010 Governors Awards in the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland in Hollywood, CA, Saturday, November 13. Richard Harbaugh / ©A.M.P.A.S.

Bennett’s first chart-topping hit was 1950’s ‘Because of You’, and he was a performer very much in the Sinatra mold: an old-school crooner whose back catalogue includes such memorable music as ‘Rags to Riches’, ‘Cold, Cold Heart’, and the iconic ‘I Left my Heart in San Francisco’.

A multiple Grammy winner, Bennett rode a turbulent life and career marked by failed marriages and drug abuse, and re-invented himself more than once, most famously alongside Lady Gaga, proving he could stay relevant and successful through different eras.

Elton John was among the many who paid tribute:

Film Crossovers

Tony Bennett, Julius Tennon, and Viola Davis arrive for the 84th Annual Academy Awards® from Hollywood, CA February 26, 2012.

(L to R) Tony Bennett, Julius Tennon, and Viola Davis arrive for the 84th Annual Academy Awards® from Hollywood, CA February 26, 2012. Richard Harbaugh / ©A.M.P.A.S.

Bennett has a few film appearances on his resume, including 1966’s ‘The Oscar’ about a snooty actor who becomes even more full of himself when he’s nominated for the titular award.

He also has credits in the likes of ‘Analyze This’, ‘Casino’, ‘The Scout’, ‘Bruce Almighty’ and ‘Muppets Most Wanted’. And his music has appeared on the soundtrack of too many movies to count, but some memorable examples include ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’, ‘Swingers’, ‘JFK’ and ‘Raging Bull’.

“In Bruce we trust?”

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PG-131 hr 41 minMay 14th, 2003

Here’s what music historian John Edward Hasse had to say about Bennett:

“Tony Bennett possessed one of the great voices and singing careers of the last 60 years. Not very many singers, much less musicians, have achieved that kind of durability. He’s got a jazz musician’s phrasing and sense of timing, as well as a feeling for spontaneity. These are classic, timeless aesthetic values that he personifies.”

Singer Tony Bennett at the as the 2010 Governors Awards in the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland in Hollywood, CA, Saturday, November 13.

Singer Tony Bennett at the as the 2010 Governors Awards in the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland in Hollywood, CA, Saturday, November 13. Richard Harbaugh / ©A.M.P.A.S.

Movies Or Specials Featuring Tony Bennett Or His Music:

Buy Tony Bennett Music on Amazon



Content Source: www.moviefone.com

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