Life Is a Gift
The Zen of Bennett
By Tony Bennett
(Harper, Hardcover, 9780062207067, 272pp.)
Publication Date: November 2012
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A moving and inspiring memoir from one of the greatest musical artists of all time
"My given name is Anthony Dominick Benedetto, and Benedetto in Italian means 'the blessed one.' I couldn't say it any better than that."
Legendary singer, artist, and performer, Tony Bennett has been one of the world's most beloved entertainers for more than six decades. From the 78 to the LP to the digital age, Tony has done it all and is still at the top of his game. In decade after decade, this artistic icon—who has won seventeen Grammys, sung for ten presidents, and performed for royalty—has refused to compromise his vision or values. His unwavering commitment to quality has helped him stay true to his classic sound and is the reason his music continues to endure. Mentored by such legends as Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and Nat King Cole, Bennett has only gotten better with age, and his popularity continues to grow as each new generation discovers his timeless songs and incredible voice.
In this entertaining and thoughtful memoir, a collection of soulful reflections and philosophies from his life and career, Bennett shares stories of friends and family and the essential lessons they have taught him: of the value of hard work and of creating art that continues to inspire; of perseverance and a dedication to excellence; of the necessity of humility, love, respect, and, most important, gratitude. Bennett cherishes the passion and insatiable thirst for knowledge that have shaped his life and made each day a journey of discovery. He pays tribute to all the remarkable talents he has had the honor to work with and to learn from, including Luciano Pavarotti, Judy Garland, Cary Grant, Fred Astaire, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand, Paul McCartney, Amy Winehouse, Willie Nelson, Lady Gaga, David Hockney, and k.d. lang, to name just a few.
A magnificent testament to an extraordinary man and his art, and illustrated with Tony Bennett's own beautiful hand-drawn artwork, Life Is a Gift is a work that will captivate, delight, and be cherished by music lovers of all ages.
Tony Bennett grew up in Astoria, Queens, during the Great Depression in a family of Italian immigrants. After serving as an infantryman in World War II, he studied singing and then signed with Columbia Records, releasing his first hit in 1951. Over the course of his sixty-year career, he has sold millions of albums; has earned multiple platinum and gold records; has won two Emmy Awards and seventeen Grammys, including the Recording Academy's prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award; and was named a Kennedy Center Honoree.