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Factbox-Quotes by and about singer Tony Bennett By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: American singer Tony Bennett sings May 10 during his concert at the Belem Cultural Center Lisbon, Portugal May 8, 1996. Bennet, seventy years old, begins his European Tour May 10. REUTERS/Jose Manuel Ribeiro./Photo Files

(Reuters) – Quotes by and about singer Tony Bennett, who has died aged 96:


* “I have feelings for people. I want people to like me and I enjoy making them happy.”

– Time magazine in 1964

* “Through song and art, I can communicate what I believe to be the essence of life – truth and beauty. In my day I have seen both go out of style but they keep making a comeback.”

– 1995 Good Housekeeping magazine interview

“If you study the masters – Picasso, Jack Benny, Fred Astaire – until the day they die, they perform. If you are creative, you get busier as you get older.”

– 1999 New York Times Interview

* “Society teaches me. I feel what they like and don’t like. … I am a servant to the audience.”

– Zero2Billions interview in 2007


“For my money, Tony Bennett is the best singer in the business.”

– Frank Sinatra in a 1965 Life magazine interview.

“I have met two sitting presidents. I have met the Pope, Pavarotti – and Tony Bennett.”

– Blues guitarist BB King in AARP magazine in 2003

“Tony Bennett is the most unselfish performing artist today. He has the credit for everyone he’s been with, including the fourth triangle player.”

– Duke Ellington in his autobiography, “Music Is My Mistress”

“To attend a Tony Bennett concert is to find yourself in the presence of a performer who exudes a natural, roughly-sculpted, airless elegance… He can still end songs like ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ or ‘How Do You Keep the Music Playing?’ with an old-fashioned quasi-opera crescendo, but he makes this clichéd triumphant ending stick in your heart.”

– The New York Times in 2006

“I memorized the words to ‘Cold, Cold Hearted’ but I was shaking so much standing 3 feet away from him that I had to hold on to the lyric sheet to try to steady myself. He was such a nice guy though. It was the thrill of a lifetime for me.”

– Country singer Tim McGraw in 2006 told Time magazine about recording a duet with Bennett

“One day, Tony said, ‘I’ve never for a moment in my career not wanted to do this.’ It hurts. Six months ago I didn’t feel like that. I tell Tony every day that he saved my life.”

– Lady Gaga in 2014 told The Guardian that she would have quit singing had Bennett not become someone she could “connect to”.

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