Anthony Dominick Benedetto ("Tony Bennett") was born on August 23, 1926, in New York City. Influenced by Bing Crosby as a kid, Tony Bennett was singing before his teen years. He dropped out of high school at age 16 to support his family as a singing waiter in several Queens Italian restaurants.
After having served in the army during World War II he was discovered by Pearl Bailey who asked him to open for her in Greenwich Village where Bob Hope was in attendance and asked Tony to tour with him. It was Bob Hope who suggested the name Tony Bennett.
In 1950 Bennett was signed to a recording contract by Columbia records A&R head, Mitch Miller. A year later Tony Bennett’s first million seller, “Because of You” was #1 on the Hit Parade. Other memorable recordings included:
- Cold, Cold Heart
- Blue Velvet
- Rags to Riches
- Stranger in Paradise
- Middle of an Island
- Just in Time
- I Wanna Be Around
- The Good Life
- Who Can I Turn To
As well as what would become his signature song,
- I Left My Heart in San Francisco
His work kept Tony Bennett on the Hit Parade in the 50’s and 60’s as he concentrated on his night club act, staged a very successful Carnegie hall concert and sold more than 50 million records.
In more recent years Tony’s albums won Grammys for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance. His Steppin’ Out With My Baby video was an MTV favorite that bridged the generation gap and introduced Tony Bennett to a new youthful audience. He also starred in a Life By Request series for the A&E Network that earned him an Emmy. With a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contribution to the recording industry, Tony also was given a lifetime achievement award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.
Tony Bennett was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2007.
In addition to his contributions to the world of music Bennett is a skilled painter and has produced many fine works of art.