Today, Tony Bennett, the man behind the 1962 track “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” — whom we also wrote extensively about in last week's cover story — turns 90. Even if you're not a San Francisco native, surely you know the ditty. It's been estimated that Bennett, who won two Grammy Awards for the track, has sung it in front of audiences at least 8,000 times.
[jump] But though “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” might be Bennett's golden egg, it's not his only successful song. Before it, the singer released the orchestral track, “Because Of You,” and the jaunty number, “Rags to Riches.” And even after “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” the hits kept on coming. There was “Body and Soul,” “The Way You Look Tonight,” “The Lady is a Tramp,” and “Stranger in Paradise,” too, to name a few.
Over the years, Bennett hasn't slowed down one bit. His 2011 album Duets II, released in celebration of his 85th birthday, featured duets with a number of big name artists, like Queen Latifah, Willie Nelson, Aretha Franklin, and Lady Gaga. Speaking of Lady Gaga, Bennett and the “Poker Face” singer teamed up again in 2014 to create Cheek to Cheek, an 11-track album of old jazz classics that debuted at number one on the Billboard charts. Bennett has also sang duets with country singer Carrie Underwood and the late Amy Winehouse.
In November, Bennett will release a new memoir, Just Getting Started, and by next year, claims he'll be working on a second album with Lady Gaga that will have “wonderful songs that she and I both like.”
During his 65-year career, Bennett has won 19 Grammy Awards and given the world a slew of memorable music. Thank you, Bennett, for all that you have given us, and happy birthday!