It’s estimated that Tony Bennett has a net worth in excess of $200 million. Bennett is the recipient of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in addition to his 20 Grammy Awards. More than 50 million recordings have been sold around the world as a result of his long and successful career.
He was born in Queens, New York on August 3, 1926, as Anthony Dominick Benedetto. A seamstress by trade, Anna Benedetto, and a grocery store owner by trade, John Benedetto raised him. In the midst of the Great Depression, Tony grew up with his two older siblings, Mary and John Jr., in poverty. Bennett was ten years old when their father died.
Around age 13, Tony began working as a singing waiter in Italian restaurants in Queens as a result of his interest in performers like Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, and Jack Teagarden. Bennett was also a superb caricaturist and studied painting and music at New York’s School of Industrial Art. However, he left school at the age of sixteen in order to help support his family. He held down a number of part-time jobs while also singing at various clubs around town on the side.
Tony enlisted in the U.S. Army in November 1944, and by March 1945, he was serving as an infantry rifleman on the front lines. Bennett witnessed a fierce battle in freezing temperatures as the Allies pushed the Germans back, nearly escaping death on multiple occasions. The liberation of a Nazi concentration camp near Landsberg eventually included Tony.
At the American Theatre Wing, he studied bel canto singing and developed a style that emulated instruments like the saxophone and piano. Bennett returned to the United States in 1946 after his discharge. A Greenwich Village performance featuring Pearl Bailey had Tony as an opening act in 1949. Bennett ended up touring with Bob Hope after meeting him after the gig. Tony was signed to Columbia Records a year later, in 1950.
Following his fight with Alzheimer’s and other health difficulties, Tony’s son and manager Danny revealed in August 2021 that Tony would be retiring from performance. After retiring from the music business, Tony released an album with Lady Gaga called “Love for Sale” on September 30, 2021, despite his announcement of his retirement.
In addition, Tony has set and broken a number of Guinness Book of Records records. In 1962, he set a record for the most consecutive Billboard 200 top-10 albums by a living artist, and his “Love for Sale” album set a record for the oldest individual to release a new album.
His early work was primarily in the orchestral/pop/jazz style. A significant hit was “Because of You,” which was his first big break. In 1951, the song climbed to the top of the pop charts and stayed there for ten weeks. It wasn’t until later in the year that he released a cover of a country song that he gained a wider audience.
Existing pop artists found it increasingly difficult to make a living after the advent of rock and roll in 1955; Tony, on the other hand, continued to enjoy financial success, with eight of his songs reaching the Billboard Hot 40 by the end 1950. His debut full-length album, “Cloud 7,” was well-received, and he followed it up with “The Beat of My Heart” in 1957, which was also well-received.
Tony kept his reputation as a nightclub performer and, in June of 1962, arranged a Carnegie Hall concert with an all-star lineup of musicians that was heavily publicized. As a result of its great success, Bennett’s status as a show star was solidified.
“I Left My Heart In San Francisco” was the title of Tony’s album and single that year. Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Best Male Solo Vocal Performance were given to both the single and album. On RIAA’s list of the most historically significant songs of the twentieth century in 2001, “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” was ranked 23rd. Jazz’s popularity waned after the Beatles and British Invasion came to the United States in 1964, and Tony released several albums and singles that only achieved modest success.
Patricia Beech, whom Bennett met in a nightclub in Cleveland, married him in 1952. Danny and Dae were their two boys from their marriage. The couple was married from 1951 till 1965.
In 1971, Tony wed actress Sandra Grant, and the couple went on to have two daughters, Joanna and Antonia, together. In 1979, Bennett and his wife divorced because of Bennett’s drug addiction. Tony began a relationship with Susan Crow in the 1980s. A year later, in 2007, the pair were married.
Tony was a longtime resident of Marin County, California, where he lived in a magnificent estate. Almost every room in the 7,600-square-foot mansion’s a picture-perfect view of San Francisco (appropriately). Here’s a video tour of the Belvedere Mansion in Tiburon, which is in the hamlet of Belvedere:
The market for $27.5 million, Tony put the house on the market in 2010. After five years and several price reductions, he ultimately sold the house in September 2015 for $15.5 million. Tony still has an apartment overlooking Central Park in New York City.