Tony Bennett was born in Astoria, Queens, New York, on August 3, 1926. Bennett had hit first hit, “Because of You,” in 1951, and made a career singing standards including his signature song, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” Bennett’s career waned in the mid-1960s, as rock music became dominant, but rebounded in the 1990s.
Raised in New York City, Bennett began singing at an early age. He fought in the final stages of World War II as an infantryman with the U.S. Army in the European Theatre. Afterwards, he developed his singing technique, signed with Columbia Records, and had his first number one popular song with “Because of You” in 1951. Several top hits such as “Rags to Riches” followed in the early 1950s. Bennett then further refined his approach to encompass jazz singing. He reached an artistic peak in the late 1950s with albums such as The Beat of My Heart and Basie Swings, Bennett Sings. In 1962, Bennett recorded his signature song, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”. His career and his personal life then suffered an extended downturn during the height of the rock music era.
Bennett staged a remarkable comeback in the late 1980s and 1990s, putting out gold record albums again and expanding his audience to the MTV Generation while keeping his musical style intact. He remains a popular and critically praised recording artist and concert performer in the 2010s. Bennett has won 17 Grammy Awards (including a Lifetime Achievement Award, presented in 2001) and two Emmy Awards, and has been named an NEA Jazz Master and a Kennedy Center Honoree. He has sold over 50 million records worldwide. is a published author, and a successful painter. He has been inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame, and in 2002 received a lifetime achievement award from ASCAP. He has won fifteen Grammy Awards, two Emmy Awards, and the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award. Tony Bennett remains a popular recording artist today. In June of 2009 Bennett announced he would begin a new tour, bringing the classics and new favorites to over thirty cities.