Performing Arts Fort Worth welcomes the return of legendary singer Tony Bennett to Bass Performance Hall on Monday, Sept. 10, 2012, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $78 and are on sale NOW.
Half a century after he started his singing career, Tony Bennett shows no signs of slowing down. On Oct. 23, Bennett will release a new album called Viva Duets – the singer's third duets-themed project, following the platinum-selling Duets and Duets II. Featuring many top names in the Latin recording industry, Viva Duets finds Bennett performing his greatest hits with a celebrated roster of artists, including Marc Anthony, Miguel Bose, Robert Carlos, Ana Carolina, Chayanne, Franco DeVita, Gloria Estefan, Vicente Fernandez, Maria Gadu, Juan Luis Guerra, Dani Martin, and Romeo Santos.
Bennett has also continued to be a force of nature on screens, big and small. In 2006, an NBC television special, Tony Bennett: An American Classic, won three Emmy awards, while a Clint Eastwood-produced documentary on Bennett’s illustrious life and career, Tony Bennett: The Music Never Ends, aired on PBS’ American Masters. A new documentary film about Bennett, called The Zen of Bennett, was featured at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival and is slated to be released in the U.S. later this year.
“Mr. Bennett,” The New York Times wrote, “has steadfastly remained the embodiment of heart in popular music. He pours it into every note he sings and every phrase he swings with a sophistication that deepens his unguarded emotional directness. In the polluted sea of irony, bad faith and grotesque attitudinizing that pop music has become, he is a rock of integrity.”
Tony Bennett has been in the pop-music spotlight since the 1950s, when he first started scoring hits. Born Anthony Dominick Benedetto in the Astoria section of Queens, N.Y., he grew up pursuing his two loves: singing and art. As a teenager, he waited tables and sang on the side, then later performed with military bands while he was enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II.
In 1949, while he was working with Pearl Bailey in Greenwich Village, Bennett got his first big break. “Bob Hope came down to check out my act,” Bennett says. “He liked my singing so much that after the show, he came back to see me in my dressing room and said, ‘Come on kid, you’re going to come to the Paramount and sing with me.’ But first he told me he didn’t care for my stage name (Joe Bari) and asked me what my real name was. I told him, ‘My name is Anthony Dominick Benedetto,’ and he said, ‘We’ll call you Tony Bennett.’ And that’s how it happened.”
More than six decades, 50 million sold records and 17 Grammy Awards won, Bennett’s name and music have become national, and international, treasures. His songs are not only instantly recognizable; they have played a significant role in the creation and building of American pop music. Those songs include “Because of You,” “Rags to Riches,” “I Wanna Be Around,” “The Good Life,” “Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me)” and his signature song, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.”
“Tony Bennett is the best singer in the business,” his friend Frank Sinatra once said. The United Nations honored Bennett with their “Citizen of the World” award, which aptly epitomizes the scope of his accomplishments.