The world is mourning the loss of a musical icon.
Tony Bennett, the chart-topping singer who shattered records with his nearly 70-year career, has died at the age of 96. The musician’s longtime publicist Sylvia Weiner confirmed Bennett’s death to NBC News July 21. Details on his cause of death are unknown at this time, but he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016.
Born in Queens, New York in 1926, Bennett was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1944 and returned to the U.S. in 1946. Following his discharge, Bennett embarked on what would become an astounding musical career, which he began as an opening act for singer Pearl Bailey in 1949.
Bennett’s career took off with his 1951 hit, “Because of You,” and skyrocketed from there, with the musician releasing over 70 albums throughout his career.
In addition to winning 20 Grammy Awards, including an honorary Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award presented in 2001, Bennett was also the recipient of two Primetime Emmy Awards (for performances in 1996 and 2007, respectively). He also helmed his own Saturday-night television variety show on NBC called The Tony Bennett Show in 1956.