Tony BennettBig Band, Jazz | 2006
Born in 1926, Anthony Dominick Benedetto—known professionally as Tony Bennett—is a legend of the music business. Founder of the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria, his hometown, Bennett began singing at an early age. He fought in the final stages of World War II as a U.S. Army infantryman, and, afterward, continued to develop his singing technique. He signed with Columbia Records and had his first number-one hit “Because of You” in 1951. Other hits, such as “Rags to Riches,” followed in the early 1950s, and in 1962 Bennett recorded his signature song, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” In the late 1980s and the 1990s, Bennett expanded his reach to the “MTV Generation,” putting out gold record albums with his signature crooning. He has won 19 Grammy Awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award, and two Emmy Awards, and he was named an NEA Jazz Master and Kennedy Center Honoree. Bennett, who celebrated his 90th birthday in 2016, has sold more than 50 million records worldwide.