Tony Bennett, the son of a grocer and Italian-born immigrant, was born Anthony Dominick Benedetto on Aug. 3, 1926 in the Astoria section of Queens, New York City.
Record sales: Bennett has sold more than 50 million records worldwide. He is one of a handful of artists to have new albums on the charts in five consecutive decades, beginning in the 1950s.
Songs and awards: Bennett's initial success came from a string of singles in the early '50s. He had 24 Top 40 songs, including "I Wanna Be Around," "The Good Life," "Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me)" and his signature song, "I Left My Heart In San Francisco," which garnered him two Grammy Awards.
Since his 1991 performance at the Grammys, he has received a string of Grammy Awards for his albums, including "Steppin' Out," "Perfectly Frank" and "MTV Unplugged."
A new generation of fans: The MTV generation took Bennett to heart during his appearance with the Red Hot Chili Peppers on the 1993 MTV Video Awards ceremony. He appeared on "MTV Unplugged," and the resulting recording won him the top Grammy award: Album of the Year.
Painting in Youngstown: Bennett also is a dedicated painter whose interest in art began as a child. He continues to paint every day, even while touring internationally. He has exhibited his work in galleries around the world and was the official artist of the 2001 Kentucky Derby. The United Nations has commissioned him for two paintings, including one for its 50th anniversary. His original painting "Homage to Hockney" is on permanent display at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown. Bennett visited Youngstown on Oct. 6, 1994, when his first public exhibition opened at the Butler. He also visited June 28, 2001, for a fund-raiser at the museum's Howland branch.
Source: Tony Bennett's Web site, www.tonybennett.net and Vindicator files