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Legendary Singer Tony Bennett Reveals Alzheimer's Diagnosis

Bennett, 94, was diagnosed in 2016.

Tony Bennett
(© David Gordon)

Legendary singer Tony Bennett has gone public with a diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease. Bennett, 94, and his family, made the announcement to the AARP magazine in an article released Monday.

Bennett was diagnosed with the disease in 2016, though the years before, during, and after have still been prosperous musically. In 2014, he released a Grammy-winning duets album with Lady Gaga, Cheek to Cheek, and toured with it around the country a year later. In 2018, Bennett and Diana Krall released the album Love Is Here to Stay. A followup to the Bennett-Gaga album, recorded between 2018 and early 2020, will be released this spring, and his last public performance came on March 11, 2020, just prior to the Covid-19 shutdown, at the Count Basie Center for the Arts in New Jersey.

According to the AARP article, Bennett has thus far not experienced many of the memory loss disease's worst side effects, including episodes of terror, depression, anger, and wandering out of the house and getting lost. However, according to his neurologist, the Covid pandemic "has been a real blow from a cognitive perspective."

However, Bennett has not lost his voice. One of the ways his family is stimulating is brain during the pandemic is by holding twice-a-week rehearsal sessions with longtime pianist Lee Musiker. Bennett and Musiker run through Bennett's usual 90-minute concert set, and even songs that aren't on the set list are delivered with his usual panache.

Click here to read the full AARP article.


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