U.S President Joe Biden has revealed that, singer Tony Bennett, who died on Friday July 21, “didn’t just sing the classics – he himself was an American classic.”
In a statement, Biden praised Bennett’s talent as a singer who won multitudes of fans, while recognizing his performances before political and world leaders as well as his social activism.
In the Statement, President Biden said:
“Resisting the pull to adjust his style to fit in with the times, his distinct voice gave melody and rhythm about the good life, how the best is yet to come, the way you look tonight, and leaving your heart in San Francisco.
“Starting out as a singing waiter in New York City, he became one of America’s most beloved performers, selling tens of millions of records and winning over generations of fans. He always found new audiences and collaborators to enchant – the mark of a truly timeless artist.
“Along the way, he lived history. He helped liberate prisoners at a subcamp of Dachau. He joined the 1965 civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery. He performed for Nelson Mandela, John F. Kennedy, and Queen Elizabeth II, and recorded music with everyone from the Count Basie Orchestra to Lady Gaga. Bob Hope gave him his stage name. Frank Sinatra was his mentor. There’s no doubt about it – Tony Bennett’s life was legendary. And his contributions to the arts in America will endure”.
“Jill and I have been fans of Tony’s music for a long time – not only because of his beautiful voice, but also the joy that he brought to everything he did. We send our deepest condolences to his family and fans around the world.”
Meanwhile, Tony Bennett’s wife, Susan Benedetto, has spoken for the first time since the legendary singer’s passing at 96 years old.
A statement shared on Bennett’s Instagram page on Friday July 21 read,
“Thank you to all the fans, friends and colleagues of Tony’s who celebrated his life and humanity and shared their love of him and his musical legacy”.
“From his first performances as a singing waiter in Queens to his last performances in 2021 at Radio City Music Hall, Tony delighted in performing the songs he loved and making people happy. And as sad as today has been for all of us we can find joy in Tony’s legacy forever.”
The statement was endorsed by Benedetto and one of Bennett’s children from his most memorable marriage, Danny.
Tony Bennett was ‘all the while singing,’ playing piano days before his demise regardless of his Alzheimer’s battle.
The “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” crooner died in his native New York City earlier Friday, a scant two weeks before his 97th birthday.