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Tony Bennett

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Biography

Astoria, Queens, New York City

Tony Bennett (born Anthony Dominick Benedetto on August 3, 1926) is an American singer of popular music, standards and jazz. After having achieved artistic and commercial success in the 1950s and early 1960s, his career suffered an extended downturn during the height of the rock music era. Bennett staged a remarkable comeback, however, in the late 1980s and 1990s, expanding his audience to a younger generation while keeping his musical style intact. He remains a popular and critically praised recording artist and concert performer in the 2010s.

Bennett is also an accomplished painter, creating works under his birth name, Anthony Benedetto.

Early life
Anthony Benedetto was born in Astoria, Queens, New York City, the son of Ann (née Suraci) and John Benedetto.[1] His father was a grocer who had emigrated from Podàrgoni, a rural eastern district of the southern Italian city of Reggio Calabria, and his mother was a seamstress.[2] With two other children and a father who was ailing and unable to work, the family grew up in poverty.[3] John Benedetto died when Anthony was 10 years old.[3]

The young Benedetto grew up listening to Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor, Judy Garland and Bing Crosby as well as jazz artists such as Louis Armstrong, Jack Teagarden and Joe Venuti. An uncle was a tap dancer in vaudeville, giving him an early window into show business.[4] By age 10 he was already singing and performed at the opening of the Triborough Bridge.[5] Drawing and caricatures were also an early passion of his.[3] He attended New York’s High School of Industrial Art where he studied painting and music,[2] but dropped out at age 16 to help support his family.

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