August 3, 1926
Place of Birth:
Queens, New York
Tony Bennett is considered a legend in the jazz and popular music industry.
Anthony Dominick Benedetto was born during the depression and his father, who had been a grocer, died when Bennett was nine years old.
Bennett's mother went to work as a seamstress to help support the family of five.
As a youngster, Tony Bennett listened to the popular singers of the day such as Bing Crosby and Al Jolson.
Bennett loved to sing and is said to have given his first public singing performance at the age of ten.
He had an uncle who was a vaudeville tap dancer and gave Bennett an insight into the music business.
While in high school, Tony Bennett worked part-time as a singing waiter.
During World War II, Bennett joined the service and sang with military bands under the name
Following the war, he studied singing and acting at the American Theater Wing.
Bennett was advised somewhere along the way to study
In 1949, he went to work for Bob Hope who advised him to change his name to Tony Bennett.
The next year, Bennett signed a recording contract with Columbia Records.
His singing style was more powerful than that of the popular singers of the day such as Bing Crosby and Perry Como.
Tony Bennett had a series of number one hits over the next few years until the rock 'n roll era began.
In the next two decades, Bennett built up a fan base of older people by appearing at night clubs.
He also developed a dependency on drugs but was helped to overcome this problem by his son, Danny, who became his manager.
Bennett made a successful comeback as his son helped him to develop a younger audience.
He did this, not by switching to a rock 'n roll style, but going back to his traditional style of singing.
Fans of all ages became more appreciative of Bennett and his record albums were widely accepted.
In addition, Bennett showed talent as an artist and he became recognized in this field.
He has won numerous honors including nearly a dozen Grammy awards including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Tony Bennett, now in his 80's, is still performing to sell-out audiences.
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Last Updated: January 20, 2017
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