Tony Bennett Dies At 96: Celebrities & Fans Pay Tribute To The Jazz Legend

The singer passed away on Friday, July 21.

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LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 27:  Tony Bennett performs at Royal Albert Hall on June 27, 2017 in London, E...
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On the morning of Friday, July 21, the legendary jazz crooner Tony Bennett died at 96. In a statement to The Associated Press, the late singer’s publicist confirmed that Bennett passed away in his hometown of New York City, just two weeks shy of his 97th birthday. A cause of death is yet to be confirmed, but he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2016.

With a career spanning eight decades, Bennett won a total of 20 Grammy awards, sold millions of records globally, and became known for classic songs including “The Way You Look Tonight,” “(I Left My Heart) In San Francisco,” “Body and Soul,” and more. Bennett was also greatly admired by many of his collaborators, including the likes of Aretha Franklin and Frank Sinatra, who once hailed Bennett as “the best singer in the business.”

Bennett’s official Twitter account confirmed his passing by sharing one of his final memories, the last song he ever sang at the piano just days before his death. “Tony left us today but he was still singing the other day at his piano and his last song was, ‘Because of You,’ his first #1 hit,” they wrote. “Tony, because of you we have your songs in our heart forever.”

Following the announcement, social media tributes began to pour in for the singer, with fans and celebrities sharing their messages of condolences. On July 31, ten days after Bennett’s passing, his close friend and frequent collaborator Lady Gaga paid tribute with a photograph of the pair embracing. “I will miss my friend forever,” she wrote. “I will miss singing with him, recording with him, talking with him, being on stage together. With Tony, I got to live my life in a time warp.”

Touching upon Bennett’s “painful” journey with Alzheimer’s, she continued: “We had a very long and powerful goodbye. Though there were five decades between us, he was my friend. My real true friend. Our age difference didn’t matter – in fact, it gave us each something neither of us had with most people.” Concluding the tribute, Gaga wrote: “I love you Tony. Love, Lady.”

Meanwhile, writing on Twitter the morning of the singer’s passing, Star Trek actor George Takei described Bennett as “the last of his kind,” adding: “A master of the American songbook. He may have left his Heart in San Francisco, but he won all of our hearts, from Sinatra to Lady Gaga. Be at peace, and sing to us now from the stars, Tony.”

Elton John called Bennett “the classiest singer, man, and performer you will ever see,” while fellow musician Nile Rodgers wrote: “My most heartfelt condolences go out to Tony Bennett’s family and friends. They’re also my emotional family and friends.”

Find more social media tributes to the late Tony Bennett, below.

Bennett is survived by his wife, Susan Benedetto, his two sons, Danny and Dae Bennett, his daughters, Johanna Bennett and Antonia Bennett, and his nine grandchildren.

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