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Tony Bennett, King of the American Songbook, Dead at 96

Tony Bennett, the legendary singer and crooner who defined the American Songbook, died on Friday at the age of 96.


Bennett’s death was announced by his family in a statement. “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved husband and father, Tony Bennett,” the statement said. “He passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family.”

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Bennett was born Anthony Dominick Benedetto in Astoria, Queens, New York, in 1926. He began his professional career as a jazz singer in the 1940s, and his early albums, such as “Because of You” and “The Beat of My Heart,” were critical and commercial successes.

In the 1950s, Bennett began to focus on the American Songbook, a collection of classic popular songs from the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. He recorded a series of albums of American Songbook standards, including “The Tony Bennett Collection” and “MTV Unplugged,” which won eight Grammy Awards.

Bennett’s career spanned seven decades, and he released over 70 albums. He won 19 Grammy Awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005. He was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016.

Bennett was a beloved figure in the music world, and his death was met with widespread sadness and mourning. “Tony Bennett was a national treasure,” said President Joe Biden. “His voice was an instrument of joy and hope, and his songs will continue to bring joy to people all over the world for generations to come.”

Bennett’s death is a major loss for the music world, but his legacy will live on through his timeless songs. He was a true master of his craft, and his music will continue to be enjoyed by people all over the world for years to come.

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