Tony Bennett “Doesn’t Know” He Has Alzheimer’s, His Wife Says
60 Minutes / YouTube
Legendary singer Tony Bennett and his family have kept a secret from his fans for the last four years and is finally opening up about it. He made the huge reveal on Twitter on February 1st, linking to an interview with AARP.
“Life is a gift – even with Alzheimer’s,” the 94-year-old wrote. “Thank you to [my wife] Susan and my family for their support, and @AARP The Magazine for telling my story.”
Bennett’s diagnosis came a year after he went on tour with Lady Gaga to support their 2014 chart-topping duets album Cheek to Cheek.
In the interview, writer John Colapinto says, “Both Susan and [son] Danny said that backstage, Tony could seem utterly mystified about his whereabouts. But the moment he heard the announcer’s voice boom ‘Ladies and gentlemen — Tony Bennett!’ he would transform himself into performance mode, stride out into the spotlight, smiling and acknowledging the audience’s applause.”
Lady Gaga joined him in August for a two-night concert at Radio City Music Hall to celebrate his 95th birthday, but it also served as his final performances and he and the songstress just released an album on September 28 titled Love For Sale.
In a new episode of 60 Minutes, Bennett’s wife Susan Benedetto told Anderson Cooper that while her husband can still sing the lyrics to almost any song he has ever performed, there are days that are very tough.
Thankfully, the legend still recognizes her and his children, and she says, “We are blessed in a lot of ways,” adding that Bennett “doesn’t know he has it,” referring to his Alzheimer’s.
The family, and his friends including Lady Gaga, have had to figure out a new way to communicate with him, and Gaga explained what she has made work below.
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His final concert with Lady Gaga with be televised later this fall on CBS. Watch part of the 60 Minutes special below.