He may have 20 Grammys, a Lifetime Achievement Award, and was regarded by Frank Sinatra as the “best singer in the business”, but Tony Bennett’s children are what he considers his proudest achievement.
Born Anthony Dominick Benedetto in August 1926, Bennett forged a legendary career in music spanning seven decades and is widely considered a champion of the American songbook, dedicated to preserving compositions penned by Cole Porter, the Gershwins, Duke Ellington, Rodgers and Hammerstein, among others. Bennett was drafted in 1944 during World War II and helped liberate a concentration camp near Landsberg, Germany. He later studied with Miriam Spier in the American Theatre Wing and was later signed to Columbia Records where he would release the single “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” and “Rags to Riches” in 1953; “Stranger in Paradise.” His biggest breakthrough, however, was “I Left My Heart In San Francisco.”
The legendary jazz singer first became a dad in 1954 with his eldest son with his then-wife Patricia Beech. He would welcome three more children to the world with his second wife, Sandra Grant, whom he would split from in 2007 and marry Susan Benedetto, the woman that would be by his side until his death on July 21, 2023. In an AARP article in 2021, Bennett’s family revealed that he had been Dating-history/” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2016. “He is doing so many things, at 94, that many people without dementia cannot do. He really is the symbol of hope for someone with a cognitive disorder,” his neurologist Gayatri Devi told the site. But his wife Susan said he was in good spirits, though he couldn’t understand what was happening to him. “But that’s because he already didn’t understand,” she told AARP. “He would ask me, ‘What is Alzheimer’s?’ I would explain, but he wouldn’t get it. He’d tell me, ‘Susan, I feel fine.’ That’s all he could process — that physically he felt great,” Benedetto said. “So, nothing changed in his life. Anything that did change, he wasn’t aware of.”
The statement announcing his death went as follows: “Tony Bennett, born Anthony Dominick Benedetto in Astoria, Queens on August 3, 1926, has passed away in his hometown of New York City at the age of 96 earlier today,” his publicist Sylvia Weiner told multiple publications like USA Today and People. “The beloved singer, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2016, is survived by his wife, Susan Benedetto, his two sons, Danny and Dae Bennett, his daughters Johanna Bennett and Antonia Bennett and 9 grandchildren.” Per an interview with Forbes, Bennett said, “Personally my four children and seven grandchildren are what make me proud,” when asked about his greatest achievements. Here’s more about Tony Bennett’s children and the impact they had on him.
Meet his four children, Danny, Dae, Johanna Bennett, and Antonia.
D’Andrea “Danny” Bennett
Born: February 3, 1954
Danny Bennett is Tony’s eldest child, with whom he shared with then-wife Patricia Beech. Danny served as his father’s manager from 1979, at age 25, until his retirement in 2021. A New York Times article published in 1999 largely credited Danny for reinvigorating this father’s career after a series of substance abuse issues and poor financial choices in the late 70s. “He was an early believer in the Internet, buying Amazon.com and Yahoo stock for himself and Microsoft for his father,” the paper observed. “I had learned how to engineer and produce records,” Danny Bennett said. “Computers are an extension of that. In the early 1990’s I was managing a band called Tribe on Warner Brothers. We set up a Web address in 1992.”
Daegal “Dae” Bennett
Dae Bennett was born in 1955 as the second son of Tony and Patricia. He took a deep interest in music himself at a young age, joining the band Quacky Duck and His Barnyard Friends with his brother Danny. His mother and father would split in 1965 and finalize their divorce in 1971, but Tony stayed in Dae’s life. According to his website: “Working years as a musician, Dae built many small studios along the way. In his late 20’s he built his first professional studio, Hillside Sound… Many international hits came out of Hillside in the early days of Rap and Hip Hop from artists such as Rob Base, Naughty by Nature, Salt n Peppa, and producer Teddy Riley with Guy and Wreckx-n-Effect. They all had many hits and some of the early Grammy nominations in, what were at the time, new Rap and Hip Hop categories. Hillside Sound was also home to many greats in the Jazz and Rock worlds during the mid 80s and throughout the 90s. It was during the late 90’s when Dae began to take an active role in the production of his father’s recordings.”
Joanna Bennett is the first child of Tony Bennett and his second wife, Sandra Grant, whom Bennett married in 1971 (they separated in 1979 but did not formally divorce until 2007). Joanna is named after his 1964 hit “When Joanna Loved Me,” a song that Bennett said had some very famous fans. “Yeah, it’s every man’s favorite song, that tune,” Bennett told the Washington Post in 1985. “Cary Grant, people like that, tell me that’s their favorite song and it always thrills me.” Joanna Bennet stays largely out of the spotlight.
Born: April 7, 1974
Antonia Bennett is Tony’s youngest, born also to Sandra Grant. Antonia showed interest in music and natural talent from a young age and began singing with her father at age four. “This one here has so much talent. I know it sounds like a proud daddy speaking, but she is so bright, and she has all the creative elements. She listens clearly,” Bennett said in 1985 to the Washington Post. “If you correct her, she doesn’t take it personally. I can explain things, and she does them right away. She is a wonderful painter, she sings terrific. All my kids are happy and healthy and have talent, but this one here captures everybody.” Antonia was featured on her father’s album, A Swingin’ Christmas, in 2008, and released her own EP, Natural, in 2010. She and husband Ronen Helmann share one child, a daughter Maya, born in 2016.
The renowned recording artist Tony Bennett shares a half-century of personal memories, from his childhood in Depression-era Queens to the New York jazz scene of the 1940s, to his successes with a new generation of fans in the 1990s.
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