American singer Tony Bennett has Alzheimer’s disease, his entourage revealed in an article published Monday by the AARP site. He was nevertheless able to record, with Lady Gaga, an album which should be released soon.
The most consistent crooner in American song, now 94, was first diagnosed in 2016, but is not showing the most serious symptoms of the disease at this point.
His immediate memory is failing and he sometimes has trouble understanding where he is, but he still recognizes those close to him and is able to have a conversation, even if he can no longer give a real interview, according to those around him.
Although diagnosed four years earlier, it was still occurring last year, until the pandemic forced it to stop in early March. A break that will have contributed to the deterioration of his state of health, according to one of his doctors.
During sessions spread between 2018 and 2020, Tony Bennett also recorded a second album with American singer Lady Gaga, after the success of “Cheek To Cheek” (2014), a series of duet covers.
The journalist who came to meet Tony Bennett and his entourage at his home last November was even able to observe him singing standards, accompanied by his tutor, with his usual ease and aplomb.
The singer and his entourage granted this interview to discuss life with Alzheimer’s disease, choosing the site of the association of retirees AARP, which brings together millions of seniors.
“Life is a gift, even with Alzheimer’s,” Tony Bennett’s account tweeted Monday after the article was published.
Becoming famous in the early 1950s with several hits like “Because of You”, the Queens crooner completely relaunched his career from the mid-1990s.
It is the duets with figures of pop, as well as his legendary stage presence, which made him known to new generations.