Veteran singer Tony Bennett has retired from performing at the age of 95, his son Dae Bennett and manager has said.
The younger Bennett cited doctor’s orders as the reason, although acknowledging his father was still capable of performing at age 95. The move has been made to avoid any falls or other onstage mishaps, he said. According to AARP The Magazine, the singer rarely speaks, and “when he does, his words are halting; at times, he seems lost and bewildered.”
Danny Bennett further explained that the decision made by the family was not because they are worried about him being able to sing but “we are worried, from a physical standpoint… about human nature” as he is 95. “They kept telling me that we lied, that there was no way Tony had Alzheimer’s, I assured everyone that he does. … Yes, here he was, at 95, and still singing like this: strong, Emotive. But still, it is a complex question: how can he do this?” Danny told Variety in reference to the fans’ response to the Grammy-winning singer’s last live concerts with Academy Award-winning singer Lady Gaga.
“My answer is that this is where he has lived his whole life and where he is most happy — on the stage, making music. Dealing as we have with Alzheimer’s for the last four-five years, it’s cognitive,” he added telling the outlet that despite his father has “short-term memory loss” he still does not use a “teleprompter”. Danny continued, “Tony may not remember every part of doing that show. But, when he stepped to the side of the stage, the first thing he told me was: ‘I love being a singer.'”
Bennett will always be known for his signature song, “I Left My Heart In San Francisco.” It spent 21 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1962, peaking at No. 19. His other hits included 1951’s “Because of You” and 1953’s #1 hit, “Rags to Riches” and #2 “Stranger in Paradise,” as well as 1954 top-10 hit “There’ll Be No Teardrops Tonight.”
Bennett had a career revival in the 1990s. He appeared at the 1993 MTV Music Video Awards, presenting a trophy to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, following that up in 1994 with an MTV Unplugged that spotlighted duets with k.d. lang and Elvis Costello.
There is one last item on the Bennett agenda. On Oct. 1, 2021, his second duet album with Lady Gaga, Love For Sale, will be released.