KISS' GENE SIMMONS Pays Tribute To TONY BENNETT - "Today We Lost An Icon Of Icons"

July 21, 2023, 10 months ago

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KISS' GENE SIMMONS Pays Tribute To TONY BENNETT - "Today We Lost An Icon Of Icons"

Variety reports that Tony Bennett, the master pop vocalist who had a professional career spanning eight decades with a No. 1 album at age 85, died on Friday morning (July 21) in New York City. He was 96.

Bennett was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016, but had continued to perform and record through 2021.

His peer Frank Sinatra called him the greatest popular singer in the world. His recordings – most of them made for Columbia Records, which signed him in 1950 – were characterized by ebullience, immense warmth, vocal clarity and emotional openness. A gifted and technically accomplished interpreter of the Great American Songbook, he may be best known for his signature 1962 hit “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.”

He was equally at home in front of intimate combos (which often featured his pianist and longtime musical director Ralph Sharon) and lushly arranged orchestras. Though never strictly a jazz singer, he flourished in jazz settings, and cut memorable sessions with Count Basie’s big band and the lyrical pianist Bill Evans.

Active as a recording artist from 1949, and one of the top pop performers in the ‘50s and early ‘60s, Bennett saw his career surge anew in the ‘90s and again in the new millennium, under the management of his son Danny.

In later years, he memorably dueted on the standard “Body And Soul” with Amy Winehouse, and released a full-length duet album with Diana Krall and a pair of recordings with Lady Gaga. Even after the revelation in early 2021 that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, he remained active.

His last public appearance came with Gaga at Radio City Music Hall in August 2021, two months before his last release, the Bennett-Gaga set Love For Sale, the sequel to their chart-topping 2014 collaboration Cheek To Cheek.

KISS bassist/singer, Gene Simmons, took to Twitter to pay tribute to Bennett.

Says Gene: "Today we lost an icon of icons. Kind, considerate and as Sinatra was quoted as saying, the best singer of them all. Rest In Peace, Tony Bennett."

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