Bennett suffered from Alzheimer’s

Legendary singer Tony Bennett has died at the age of 96. Bennett passed away in his hometown of New York today (Friday, July 21st), his publicist confirms to The Associated Press. No specific cause was given, but Bennett was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2016.

“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,” his official social media accounts share. “Tony, because of you we have your songs in our heart forever.”

Bennett and his family bravely revealed his Alzheimer’s diagnosis in February 2021. Six months later, Bennett retired from performing after more than 70 years due to his age and health. Bennett’s last performances were with Lady Gaga at New York City’s Radio City Hall dubbed “One Last Time: An Evening With Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga.” The concerts were announced as his final New York City performances, but were his final ever after canceling the remainder of his tour dates. The shows were in support of the pair’s second collaborative album Love For Sale released that fall via Interscope/Columbia Records. The Cole Porter tribute album is also Bennett’s final recorded project.

“I enjoy entertaining the audience, making them forget their problems,” he told The Associated Press in 2006. “I think people … are touched if they hear something that’s sincere and honest and maybe has a little sense of humor. … I just like to make people feel good when I perform.”

Bennett and Gaga recorded a public service announcement to help better educate and inform people about the disease. Over the next several years, Bennett regularly partnered with the Alzheimer’s Association to raise funds and encourage more awareness about the disease.

The American standards singer transcended generations by releasing more than 70 albums and accumulating 19 Grammys.

Bennett would’ve turned 97 on August 3rd.