One of the greats of American popular music, Tony Bennett's languid vocal style has captivated fans of different ages across six decades. The son of an Italian immigrant grocer growing up in poverty in New York, Bennett returned after fighting on the front line in World War 2 to embark on one of the great showbusiness careers. His first break came when singer Pearl Bailey asked him to open shows for her, leading to Columbia Records releasing his first hit - the ballad Because Of You - in 1951. Other hits like Blue Velvet, Rags To Riches and Stranger In Paradise followed as Bennett expanded his style to incorporate big band jazz. In 1962 he recorded his defining signature song I Left My Heart In San Francisco, which became a hit all over the world. His career stalled, however, after his marriage broke up and he suffered ill health and drug problems, but he bounced back in the mid-1980s with a return to the classic American songbook as a new generation fell in love with his easy style. He even became a cult hero with younger audiences after collaborations with artists ranging from Elvis Costello to Bono of U2 and appearances at rock events, notably Glastonbury Festival. Bennett was still touring in his 80s and in 2010 - at 84 - was one of the artists singing on the We Are The World: 25 For Haiti charity single.
Most popular Tony Bennett music videos
Tony Bennett and Josh Groban
Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga
Amy Winehouse & Tony Bennett