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Tony Bennett Biography

Anthony Dominick Benedetto, known as Tony Bennet, is an American pop, swing and jazz singer. Additionally, he also paints and has founded the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts from NY. Tony is a World War II veteran who always loved music and so, when he returned home, he pursued singing professionally. He released his first hit in 1951, titled Because of You. He has been at his highest during the late 50s and early 60s. In 1962 he released his most iconic song ever I Left My Heart in San Francisco. Consequently, he won 19 Grammy Awards and sold over 50 million records.

Early Years 

Tony grew up with the music of Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor, Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, Jack Teagarden, and Joe Venuti. During his teen years, he studied both music and painting. During his 2 years spent in the military, he sang with the 314th Army Special Services Band. Upon his return, he learned the bel canto singing discipline and released a few independent compositions. In 1950, he was discovered due to his cover of Boulevard of Broken Dreams. He began his career as a crooner. Then, he experienced continuous success.

First Success

Between 51 and 55 he released 4 number 1 singles. Most noteworthy, Stranger in Paradise, marked his breakthrough as an international artist as well. Furthermore, he released eight Billboard Top 40 songs, during the latter part of the 1950s. Therefore, he was successful even when his genre of music was losing ground to rock and roll. In 1957, the legendary singer began focusing on jazz, rather than pop. His album The Beat of My Heart received critical acclaim. Following on that success, he released countless other praised albums. Over the course of his lengthy career, Tony Bennet released over 70 albums.

Recent Years

During the past decade or so, Tony collaborated with many popular contemporary artists. In 2008 he sang New York State of Mind with Billy Joel. In 2011, he released Duets II, which featured a variety of major singers such as Aretha Franklin, Willie Nelson, Queen Latifah, and Lady Gaga. He also recorded Body and Soul with Amy Winehouse, just before her tragic death.


Photo credits: All About Jazz