Elton John, Scorsese and more friends and admirers of Tony Bennett react to his death

21 July 2023

By The Associated Press

Reaction to the death of Tony Bennett at age 96:

“So sad to hear of Tony’s passing. Without doubt the classiest singer, man, and performer you will ever see. He’s irreplaceable. I loved and adored him. Condolences to Susan, Danny and the family.” — Sir Elton John, via Instagram.

“Tony Bennett was a consummate artist. All you have to do is listen to any one of his hundreds of recordings to recognize that. Very early on, his music quietly wove itself into the fabric of our lives. His voice felt as familiar and as close as the voices of our loved ones. I know that this was true for millions of people around the world. For Italian-Americans who were growing up in the middle of the twentieth century, that familiarity ran even deeper. At a certain point, we started to imagine that Tony would live forever. Of course he didn’t. Nobody does. But the music? That’s another story.” — Martin Scorsese, in a statement.

“Rest in peace, Tony. You were the epitome of a gentleman with a God given one-of-a-kind voice. It was truly a great honor of my career and of my life to get to share the stage with you…” — Carrie Underwood, duet partner on “It Had to Be You,” via Instagram.

“RIP 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 foremost practitioner of the ‘Art of Excellence.’ Deepest love and condolences to my friend Danny and the family.” — Stevie Van Zandt, via Twitter.

“Sending my prayers for and condolences to the family of #TonyBennett whose legendary career spanned seven decades. He marched with us in 1964. He was dedicated to civil and human rights and to the arts. He will lives as long as we remember him. #IleftmyheartinSanFrancisco.” — Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., via Twitter.

“This one shouldn’t sting so much because any of us would take 96 years, but man is it hard to imagine a world without the great Tony Bennett.” — actor Josh Gad, via Twitter.

“The world was a better place with Tony Bennett at the microphone in a tuxedo, singing. To one of the kindest, most loving people I’ve ever known… Rest in peace, dear Tony.” — actor and comedian Ruth Buzzi, via Twitter.

“Rest in Peace to one of the best to ever grace the stage. I was just saying that the greatest gig I had ever witnessed was Tony Bennett at 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 heartfelt condolences go out to Tony Bennett’s family and friends. They’re also my emotional family and friends.” — producer Nile Rodgers, via Twitter.

“Ahhh, RIP Tony Bennett, truly one of the greats. The first album I had was Tony Bennett sings 10 Rodgers and Hart songs, from when my record company in 1976 let me do a ‘bank raid’ of their vinyl stock and I was a fan from there on in. An incredible singer live, saw him many times.” — musician, singer and songwriter Paul Young, via Twitter.

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