Fans of iconic crooner Tony Bennett have been offered a glimpse into the entertainer’s final moments after his wife, Susan Benedetto, opened up about her late husband’s touching final words.
Bennett passed away at the age of 96 on Friday, July 21, Bennett’s publicist Sylvia Weiner confirmed the passing of the I Left My Heart In San Francisco hitmaker, revealing that he died in his hometown of New York.
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.
Tony, because of you we have your songs in our heart forever. ❤ pic.twitter.com/hsOqtSdTNg
— Tony Bennett (@itstonybennett) July 21, 2023
As the world continues to grapple with the loss of one of the music industry’s most iconic voices, Benedetto revealed what her late husband’s final words to her were while offering some insight into his final days.
“That he loved me,” she told TODAY host Hoda Kotb.
“Yeah. He would wake up every day and still say that. He woke up happy every day. Even if he had had a bad day or night, he didn’t remember it.
“That was the only blessing. He woke up happy. And he’s just like, ‘Susan. You’re the best thing that ever happened to me.’ And he would say that to me all the time.”
She no doubt delighted fans when she revealed that he was still belting out the classics, even in his final days.
“He sang Because of You. We were getting him up to exercise, and so it was easy to just latch onto the piano,” she said.
“And I said, ‘Ton, why don’t you get up and you can sing?’ You know, any excuse to just get him up. I said, ‘Why don’t you sing?’ He’s like, ‘What do you want to hear?’ I said, ‘How about singing Because of You?’ So he sang Because of You.
“Literally, that was the last song he sang, yeah.”
Besides leaving his wife with beautiful final words and cherished memories, Bennett also left behind a lasting legacy that continues to resonate with music lovers worldwide.
Bennett’s musical prowess earned him a multitude of accolades, including 20 Grammy Awards, a Lifetime Achievement Award, and two Primetime Emmy Awards. He skillfully navigated jazz and popular hits, captivating fans globally and selling over 50 million records.
His musical journey began in his youth, and even as a U.S. Army infantryman during World War II, his love for music remained unwavering. The breakthrough hit Because of You in 1951 marked the start of his rise to fame, followed by other beloved tracks such as Rags to Riches.
A defining moment in 1962 came with the release of his signature song, I Left My Heart in San Francisco, solidifying his place in music history. Despite facing challenges during the rock music era, Bennett made a triumphant comeback in the late ’80s and ’90s, producing gold record albums and gaining popularity even among the MTV generation, all while staying true to his distinctive sound.
Beyond his personal achievements, Bennett collaborated with other legends like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and more recently, Lady Gaga. The album Cheek to Cheek, their 2014 collaboration, garnered renewed acclaim, and their second album, Love for Sale, in 2021 broke records on the Billboard 200 chart, reaffirming Bennett’s timeless appeal.
Even while battling Alzheimer’s, Bennett continued to perform, with his final shows at Radio City Music Hall on his 95th birthday serving as a powerful testament to his passion for music and unwavering dedication to his craft.