Mostly Credited As: Tony Bennett
Sometimes Credited As: Joe Bari
Birth Name: Anthony Dominick Benedetto
Date Of Birth: August 03, 1926 (Age 88)
Country Of Birth: USA
Birth Place: Astoria, New York
Height: 5' 7 ½" (1.71 m)
Legend Tony Bennett gave his first performance at the age of 10 at the opening of the Triborough Bridge. After dropping out of the New York High School of Industrial Arts at 16, Bennett was drafted into the Army during World War II and served on the front lines until April 1945. When the war ended, Bennett joined a military band and under the GI Bill studied at American Theater Wing. In 1949, Bennett was invited to tour with Bob Hope and was signed to Columbia Records in 1959, the same year he released his first big hit, "Because of You". The 1950s brought success for Bennett, scoring #1 hit after hit with "Blue Velvet," "Rags to Riches," and "Stranger in Paradise". In 1956, Bennett broke on to the television scene and hosted his own show, The Tony Bennett Show.
In 1962, Bennett performed a landmark concert at Carnegie Hall where he played 44 songs over the course of the concert. During this year, Bennett also released "I Left My Heart in San Francisco," which has become his trademark song.
1964 brought Bennett a change of fortune. With The Beatles sweeping the country by storm, Bennett was unable to put out chart-topping singles. During this time, Bennett also divorced from his first wife, Patricia Beech, and starred in his first big-screen role in The Oscar. The film flopped and was bashed by critics. In 1972, Bennett left Columbia Records for MGM Records, but the change of company still didn't help Bennett achieve another hit single.
Bennett's luck changed during the late 1970s and 1980s. Under his own record label, Bennett released to highly-praised albums, later remarried, and landed a show in Las Vegas. Bennett also released two additional gold albums in 1992 and 1993.
At the age of 80, Bennett has sold a total of over 50 million records during his extensive career, is a member of the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame, was awarded a lifetime achievement award from ASCAP, and a Kennedy Center Honor.