Reaction to the death of Tony Bennett at the age of 96:
“So sad to hear of Tony’s passing. Without a doubt, the coolest singer, man and performer you will ever see. He is irreplaceable. I loved and adored him. Condolences to Susan, Danny and family.” — Sir Elton John, via Instagram.
“I love taking lessons from someone like Tony. And one of the great lessons, I think, is to be strong about who you are and strong enough to stay true to it, because tastes change, times change. But if you know what you’re doing and you have confidence and integrity in it, the world will find you. — Michael Bublé in an interview.
“Good night, #TonyBennett. Thank you for your commitment to love, civil rights and a better world.” And: “#TonyBennett was a national and global treasure who used his platform as a legendary civil rights performer. In 2002, @TheKingCenter, guided by my mother, presented him with our Hail to Greatness award. We were honored to honor Mr Bennet’s memory.” — Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., via Twitter.
“It was a unique voice that made the transition from the Jazz Age to the Pop Age. I will always be grateful to him for his outstanding contribution to the art of contemporary music. It was a pleasure to work with him. His energy and enthusiasm for the material he performed was infectious. He was also one of the nicest people I have ever known.” — Billy Joel, in a statement.
“The life of Tony Bennett was legendary. And his contribution to the art of America will continue. Jill and I have been fans of Tony’s music for a long time – not only because of his beautiful voice, but also because of the joy he brought to everything he did.” — President Joe Biden in his statement.
“Tony Bennett was an iconic songwriter and artist who captivated generations of fans. He was also a good man – Michelle and I will always be proud that he spoke at my inauguration. Our thoughts are with his wife Susan, his children and everyone who misses him today.” — Former President Barack Obama, via Twitter.
“Tony Bennett was a consummate artist. All you have to do is listen to any of his hundreds of recordings to figure it out. Very early, his music imperceptibly intertwined in the fabric of our lives. His voice seemed as familiar and close as the voices of our loved ones. I know this is true for millions of people around the world. For Italian Americans who grew up in the mid-twentieth century, this familiarity was even deeper. At some point, we began to imagine that Tony would live forever. Of course not. Nobody does. But music? It’s a different story.” — Martin Scorsese, in a statement.
“Tony was one of the most wonderful people who ever lived. Kind, loving, talented and generous, he never let us down. Sending my love to Susan, Danny, their family and friends. Tony was a true champion.” — Nancy Sinatra, via Twitter.
“Rest in peace, Tony. You were the epitome of a gentleman with a God-given, one-of-a-kind voice. It has been a great honor for my career and my whole life to share the stage with you…” – Carrie Underwood, “It Had to Be You” duet partner, via Instagram.
“Tony Bennett was one of the true greats—an icon, a legend, and a masterful interpreter of the great American songbook. For over 70 years, his artistry and “coolness” have been woven into our hearts and our culture. We loved him in Motown, and in 1967, when he recorded one of our songs “For Once In My Life”, we were delighted and flattered. His music and legacy will live on forever.” — Statement by Motown founder Berry Gordy.
“Rest in peace, Tony Bennett. The best of the best. The last of the legends. A man whose heart was as big as his voice. The world’s leading practitioner of the Art of Perfection. Deepest love and condolences to my friend Danny and his family.” — Stevie Van Zandt, via Twitter.
“I express my prayers and condolences to the family of Tony Bennett, whose legendary career spans seven decades. He walked with us in 1964. He was devoted to civil rights, human rights, and the arts. He will live as long as we remember him. #I left my heart in San Francisco.” — Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., via Twitter.
“We loved and admired Tony Bennett and admired the breadth of his talent and the depth of his commitment to creating a better world. … We will always be personally grateful to Tony for speaking at the 1993 inauguration and for giving his talents time and time again to support the work of the Clinton Foundation. With an exceptional voice and generosity, he lived his wonderful life with perfect pitch.” — in a statement by former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
“It shouldn’t sting so much because it would take any of us 96 years, but it’s hard to imagine a world without the great Tony Bennett.” — Actor Josh Gad, via Twitter.
“The world was a better place when Tony Bennett sang at the microphone in a tuxedo. To one of the most kind and loving people I have ever known… Rest in peace dear Tony. — Actor and comedian Ruth Bazzi, via Twitter.
“There is no better champion American songwriter. If it’s Gershwin, if it’s Cole Porter, if it’s Rogers and Hammerstein, it’s Tony Bennett. And the wonderful thing about what he’s done is connecting people so much with what I think is the greatest bond, music and something that will stay forever. These records are forever. — Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, speaking Friday at the Aspen Security Forum.
“Sesame Workshop mourns the passing of Tony Bennett, who brought joy and music to millions of people around the world. Mr. Bennett joined us on Sesame Street in 1998 to turn his classic into our new favorite.” — Sesame Street, via Twitter.
“Rest in peace, Tony Bennett. Such a big loss. Deepest condolences to his family and the world.” — Carol King, via Instagram.
“Rest in peace, one of the finest ever to grace the stage. I was just saying that the greatest performance I have ever seen was Tony Bennett at the North Sea Jazz in 2012. It was like dropping a needle on a record. He was the last of the greatest generation of singers and musicians.” — Guitarist Joe Bonamassa via Twitter.
“My most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Tony Bennett. They are also my emotional family and friends.” — Producer Nile Rodgers, via Twitter.
“Ahh rest in peace Tony Bennett really one of the greats. The first album I had was Tony Bennett Singing 10 Rodgers and Hart songs when my record company let me do a bank raid on their vinyl stock in 1976 and I’ve been a fan ever since. Incredible singer live, seen him many times.” — Musician, singer-songwriter Paul Young, via Twitter.