Tony Bennett, one of the last icons of music put on one of the most intimate and endearing show when he appeared in concert at the sold-out Event Center at Borgata Casino, Hotel and Spa, Saturday evening, September 29. At the young age of eighty-six years old, Bennett had the multi- generational audience to their feet, receiving more than five standing ovations throughout an hour performance. The timeless vocalist showcased his talent with quite the range, proving he is the true definition of an artist. Bennett captured his charisma with smiles and smooth dance moves while on stage and had just about every female in the room drooling.
Bennett had his daughter Antonia Bennett open the show for him with a six song set. Showing her exceptional talent, she prepared the audience for what was to come . . . a performance by, her dad, Tony Bennett. As an additional treat for his fans, Bennett brought his daughter Antonia back to the stage for what seems to be one of his favorite moments, a live duet. He shared the stage with his daughter and for one final moment, brought the entire audience to their feet. The twenty-one song set, followed by a two song encore of When You’re Smiling and Fly Me To The Moon brought the evening to a prolonged standing ovation with smiles of enjoyment on everyone leaving the showroom.
Knowing how to croon helps a performer in concert, but knowing exactly how to please an audience, to make them feel like your old friend, is even more refreshing which is something Bennett does with ease. Conversing easily with the audience, he told them the story of how he got his name. “As a very young performer, I was invited to tour with Bob Hope. When he asked me my name, I told him my name was Anthony Dominick Benedetto. Hope said, no one will remember that so now you are Tony Bennett and that is how I got my name, thank you Bob!”
Bennett, best known as an Italian-American singer of popular music and standard show tunes, has also dabbled in country music. Before singing a country song Bennett related the story, “I was asked to sing a country song to which I replied, I do not sing country. I was then told it was not up for discussion and that I better start singing. Now, I must tell you that I am so very proud of this song as it was the first country song to sell internationally.” Bennett performed his country song, Cold, Cold Heart, at the conclusion he recounted, “After I recorded that song and it went up on the charts I got a call from the songs writer, Hank Williams,” who said to me, “Why did you ruin my song?” The audience broke out in enthusiastic applause and laughter.
Born August 3, 1926 and raised in New York City, Bennett began singing at an early age. He fought in the final stages of World War II as a US Army Infantryman. Afterwards, he developed his singing technique, signed a contract 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 1950’s. In 1962, Bennett recorded his signature song, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” Unfortunately, as the rock music age come in, Bennett’s popularity and career took an extended downturn.
Bennett staged a remarkable comeback in the late 1980s and 1990s, putting out hit gold record albums once again and expanding his audience to the new MTV crowd while keeping his musical style intact. He remains a popular and critically praised recording artist and concert performer. Bennett has won seventeen Grammy Awards (including a Lifetime Achievement Award, presented in 2001) and two Emmy Awards. Tony Bennett has sold over 50 million records worldwide.
After 60 years and over 70 albums, Tony Bennett finally has a number one album. Grammy winner, took the top slot on the Billboard 200 chart with the release of his album, “Duets II.” The record pairs Bennett with a series of young singers — including “Body and Soul,” the famous duet with the late Amy Winehouse and was estimated to sell 170,000 copies in its first week out. The album also includes his duet with Lady Gaga on “The Lady Is A Tramp.”
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