Legendary singer and 19-time Grammy winner Tony Bennett has passed away at the age of 96.
The New York City-born vocalist’s publicist confirmed the unfortunate news just moments ago, disclosing only that the I Left My Heart in San Francisco artist had died in his hometown. At the time of this writing, neither Bennett’s team nor his family had publicly disclosed the “Fly Me to the Moon” singer’s precise cause of death, though the Viva Duets act (who would have turned 97 early next month) had been battling Alzheimer’s since 2016.
And while the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame inductee Bennett’s website was down (possibly due to an influx of traffic) when this piece was published, his team posted a brief message about his passing on Twitter.
“Tony left us today but he was still singing the other day at his piano and his last song was, ‘Because of You,’ his first #1 hit,” this tweet reads. “Tony, because of you we have your songs in our heart forever.”
Meanwhile, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient’s daughter Antonia Bennett, herself a singer-songwriter, published an unrelated Instagram post in the early hours of the morning – suggesting that Bennett’s passing may have come suddenly.
Initially known for commercially well-received renditions of tracks including the aforementioned “Because of You,” “Cold, Cold Heart,” and “Rags to Riches,” to name a few, the “Stranger in Paradise” singer Bennett would go on to record over 60 studio albums across his seven-decade career.
The newest of these professional efforts, a collaborative album with Lady Gaga entitled Love for Sale, became available to fans in late September of 2021. Bennett was 95 years old when the project debuted – making him “the oldest person to release an album of new material,” according to Guinness World Records.
On social media, all manner of supporters and fellow artists (besides streaming services including Apple Music and YouTube Music) are offering kind words and celebrating the life of the Christina Aguilera, Amy Winehouse, and Stevie Wonder collaborator Tony Bennett.
“Just heard about the great Tony Bennett passing,” wrote Keith Urban. “What a legacy of not only superb timeless music, but a class act study in cool, grace, and elegance.”
“Rest in Peace to the legendary Mr Tony Bennett, you made history with Lady Gaga and we thank you for the excellent mentorship you provided,” penned a self-described Lady Gaga fan.
“As the world mourns Tony Bennett, the incredible vocalist, one should honor the fact that Tony was among the young men that liberated Dachau, playing a part in saving the lives of thousands of Jews, including Elie Wiesel, R Lau, and many more,” another observer weighed in of the Army veteran’s passing.