Tony Bennett is a legendary American singer. His music transverses several genres such as traditional pop, swing, contemporary pop, intimate ballads, show tunes, etc. Some of his most popular songs include Because of You (1951), Rags to Riches (1953) and the evergreen I left My Heart in San Francisco (1962).
In a glittering career spanning 6 decades, Bennett has released multiple successful albums. He has also won several awards and honours including 20 Grammy Awards. Additionally, Bennett is an accomplished painter and has his work exhibited in several reputable institutions. Find out more about this living legend here, including facts about his spouse and net worth.
Tony Bennett Bio
Anthony Dominick Benedetto was born on the 3rd of August 1926 in Astoria, Queens Borough, New York. His father, John, was an Italian migrant while his mother, Anna, was the daughter of Italian migrants. Bennett grew up with two siblings, an elder sister named Mary and an elder brother named John Jr.
Tony Bennett fell in love with music and painting as a child. He started singing publicly at an early age. Aged 10, he performed at the opening of the Triborough Bridge in 1936. In pursuit of his love for music and painting, Bennett enrolled in New York’s School of Industrial Art where he studied both subjects. He, however, did not complete his education due to his poor background.
Tony Bennett was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1944 aged 18. He fought in various parts of Europe between 1945 and 1946. The horrors he saw on the front lines of WWII made him become a pacifist. On leaving the Army in 1946, he commenced voice training. He also continued singing while waiting tables.
Bennett got his big break in 1949 when actor and comedian, Bob Hope, offered him a chance to sing onstage. He took the chance and gave such a good performance that he earned a record deal from Columbia records. Between 1951 and 1962, Bennett’s career flourished and he released several hit songs. His career, however, stalled during the late 1960s and 1970s. This decline was as a result of the rock and roll boom. His career was also not helped by the fact that he left Columbia Records in 1972.
Tony Bennett re-signed with Columbia Records in 1986 and subsequently made a comeback. He also appeared on MTV Unplugged in 1994 and this brought him closer to the younger generation. In a storied career, Bennett has released at least 70 albums, 3 of which has been certified Platinum. He has also seen at least 30 of his songs make it to the charts. As a testament to his distinguished career, Bennett has received awards and honours too numerous to mention. They include 20 Grammy Awards and other notable honours like Kennedy Center Honours in 2005 and UN High Commission for Refugees Humanitarian Award in 2006. The singer has also received honorary PhDs from many institutions. On his 90th birthday, his statue was unveiled before Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco.
How Much Is He Worth?
Some sources estimate Bennett’s net worth at $110 million, others estimate it to be as much as $200 million. Whatever the amount, there is certainly no doubt that Bennett made a lot of money from his career. He not only sold millions of albums but also performed frequently. At the height of his career, he did as much as 100 performances a year. Additionally, he also made money from TV appearances and endorsement deals.
Wife or Spouse
Tony Bennett has been married on three occasions, his first marriage was to Patricia Beech on the 12th of February 1952. The marriage produced two sons – D’ Andrea (b. 1954) and Daegal (b. 1955). They separated in 1965 and the divorce was finalised in 1971. Bennett got married again on the 29th of December 1971. This time, to actress Sandra Grant. He and Grant reportedly started dating in 1965. Their marriage produced two daughters – Joanna (b. 1970) and Antonia (b. 1974). They separated in 1979 and the divorced was finalized in 1983. Some accounts say that the divorce was finalized in 2003.
Tony Bennett is presently married to former NYC school teacher, Susan Benedetto (nee Crow). His wife goes by his real last name. Bennett and Susan started dating in the late 1980s. They made things official on the 21st of June 2007. The ceremony was a private one and witnesses included former New York Governor, Mario Cuomo.
The couple has two charities, Exploring The Arts and The Frank Sinatra School of The Arts. Both charities are dedicated to helping students (especially less-privileged ones) to study arts.