Singer Sang Up To His Death – Hollywood Life

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Tony Bennett passed away on Friday (July 21) at age 96, a few weeks shy of his birthday. Shortly after the world learned that the voice behind “I Left My Heart In San Francisco,” “Blue Velvet,” and countless other classic songs had been silenced, his team shared some details about his final days. “Tony left us today, but he was still singing the other day at his piano,” the @ItsTonyBennett account posted while sharing a throwback photo to Tony’s early career. “His last song was, ‘Because of You,’ his first #1 hit,” the team added. “Tony, because of you, we have your songs in our heart forever.”

“Because Of You” was written by Arthur Hammerstein and Dudley Wilkinson in 1940. First recorded by Larry Clinton and his Orchestra, Tony took a crack at the song in 1951, making it his first professional single. The song reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts and spent ten weeks at the top position. He would find his way up to the top again with “Cold, Cold Heart,” “Rags to Riches,” and “Stranger in Paradise.” He would also enjoy a lengthy career, finding success with albums Duets, Duets II, Viva Duets, and his albums with Lady Gaga Cheek to Cheek and Love For Sale.

Many stars immediately mourned Tony following news of his death. “He was also one of the nicest human beings I’ve ever known,” said Billy Joel. “His music has always made me feel at home and safe,” said Kelsea Ballerini. “He’s irreplaceable. I loved and adored him,” said Elton John.

(Larry Marano/Shutterstock)

“I had good teachers at the American Theatre Wing when I came out of the service after the Second World War,” he told Billboard in 2016. “They told me how to survive and taught me how to take care of myself and to be myself and try not to imitate any other singers. They always insisted I just be myself, and I’ve maintained that throughout the years. I just love the fact that in an era where everything’s based on youth, I can communicate with everybody — the young, the middle-aged, and the old like me. I’m very content.”

In 2016, Tony went public with his Alzheimer’s disease. When his wife, Susan Crow, spoke with AARP Magazine about his condition, she recalled how Sean Connery had lost his ability to communicate due to dementia before his death at age 90. “I’m hoping for that with Tony,” she said. “Hopefully, he’ll just go to sleep one night, and that will be that. I’m hoping and praying that he won’t take a turn for the worse that’s really crazy bad. … There’s a lot about him that I miss. Because he’s not the old Tony anymore. But when he sings, he’s the old Tony.”

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