The Last Song Tony Bennett Sang Before His Death

Music icon Tony Bennett passed away on Friday (July 21) at the age of 96, but he was singing until the end. Following the announcement of his death, members of Bennett’s team revealed on his official Instagram account that days before his passing, Bennett was singing one of his signature hits.

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“Tony left us today but he was still singing the other day at his piano and his last song was, ‘Because of You,’ his first #1 hit,” they write in the caption alongside a black and white photo of him posing with a vintage Columbia Records microphone. “Tony, because of you we have your songs in our heart forever.”

“Because of You” is a popular standard written by Arthur Hammerstein and  Dudley Wilkinson in 1940. In 1951, Bennett recorded his version that became the title track of his 1952 album. The song marked a major turning point in his career, as it served as his first No. 1 hit. It sat for 10 weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100.

In February 2021, Bennett announced that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016. “Singing is everything to him. Everything. It has saved his life many times,” his wife Susan Benedetto said in an interview with AARP. “He would ask me, ‘What is Alzheimer’s?’ I would explain, but he wouldn’t get it. He’d tell me, ‘Susan, I feel fine.’ That’s all he could process — that physically he felt great. So, nothing changed in his life. Anything that did change, he wasn’t aware of.”

In 2021, he released two songs featuring Lady Gaga, “I Get a Kick Out of You” and a rendition of his hit “Love for Sale,” which led up to his final concert, One Last Time: An Evening with Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, that aired on CBS in November 2021.

Bennett’s publicist Sylvia Weiner confirmed to AP News that he had passed away in his hometown of New York City.

Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

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