President Joe Biden, Former President Barack Obama, Elton John and more stars paid tribute to Tony Bennett after his death on Friday morning, with John saying “he’s irreplaceable.”
Bennett, whose professional career spanned eight decades and who achieved a No. 1 album at age 85, died Friday morning in New York City. He was 96.
President Biden released an official statement on Bennett’s death. He wrote, “For more than 70 years, Tony Bennett didn’t just sing the classics – he himself was an American classic. Resisting the pull to adjust his style to fit in with the times, his distinct voice gave melody and rhythm about the good life, how the best is yet to come, the way you look tonight, and leaving your heart in San Francisco.”
Biden also commented on the historic moments that Bennett lived through and the other icons he performed for and collaborated with throughout his career. He wrote, “There’s no doubt about it – Tony Bennett’s life was legendary. And his contributions to the arts in America will endure.”
Biden concluded the statement by writing, “Jill and I have been fans of Tony’s music for a long time – not only because of his beautiful voice, but also the joy that he brought to everything he did. We send our deepest condolences to his family and fans around the world.”
Obama shared a tribute on both Twitter and Instagram, writing, “Tony Bennett was an iconic songwriter and entertainer who charmed generations of fans. He was also a good man—Michelle and I will always be honored that he performed at my inauguration. We’re thinking of his wife Susan, his kids, and everyone who is missing him today.”
John, who performed “Rags to Riches” with Bennett, shared his tribute via Instagram. He wrote, “So sad to hear of Tony’s passing. Without doubt the classiest singer, man, and performer you will ever see. He’s irreplaceable. I loved and adored him. Condolences to Susan, Danny and the family.”
The Amy Winehouse Foundation shared a photo of Bennett with the late “Back to Black” singer and tweeted, “Today marks the end of an era, as we say farewell to Tony Bennett. A true star, a true gentleman and a wonderful friend and mentor to Amy. Thank you for the music Tony. Our love and heartfelt condolences to all his family and friends.”
Former late-night host David Letterman shared a video of Bennett singing “Everybody Has The Blues” and tweeted, “RIP, Tony.”
Harry Connick Jr. wrote, “rest in peace, Tony… you changed the world with your voice… thank you for always being so kind to me… i love you and i’ll miss you very much…”
In a statement, Rob Stringer, chairman of Sony Music Group said, “There are few people in life who could surpass the achievements of the legendary artist Tony Bennett. His biography reads like an inspiring and principled socio-cultural history of nearly a century. His artistry in recording and performing will be admired forever.” Stringer added, “Everyone at Sony Music worldwide loved him and we are now honored to represent his legacy.”
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” music supervisor Robin Urdang shared, “I received a call this season from his label that management was asking if we can use a song of his in Maisel. We hadn’t used any yet and we’re then determined to find a placement. So glad we did.” Bennett’s 1963 song “I Wanna Be Around,” was used in the show’s series finale.
Billy Joel shared on Instagram, “Tony Bennett was one of the most important interpreters of American popular song during the mid to late 20th century. He championed songwriters who might otherwise have remained unknown to many millions of music fans.”
The singer continued, “His was a unique voice that made the transition from the era of Jazz into the age of Pop. I will always be grateful for his outstanding contribution to the art of contemporary music. He was a joy to work with. His energy and enthusiasm for the material he was performing was infectious.”
Joel concluded his tribute by writing that Bennett “was also one of the nicest human beings I’ve ever known.”
ASCAP President and Chairman of the Board Paul Williams said, “The ASCAP family mourns the passing of the legendary Tony Bennett. Tony was a spectacular singer with a charismatic tone, equal parts grace and grit, and he knew how to inhabit a song. There was perhaps no greater champion of great songwriting.”
Williams continued, “He spent seven decades introducing the world to the Great American Songbook, reinterpreting it for new generations and giving 100% with every unforgettable performance. Tony, we’ll never forget your voice and your timeless recordings. You left our hearts in perfect rapture.”
See more tributes below.