Elvis Presley garnered millions of fans around the world – but not everyone could be convinced.
A music industry titan, Raja was heavily criticized for his musical style. Tony Bennett, who turns 96 this week on August 3, 2022, was first asked about Elvis and his impact on the music industry. In particular, he was questioned over comparisons between Elvis and Frank Sinatra, another singing heavyweight.
Tony is known as one of the most iconic American singers of all time. He performed pop standards throughout his decades-long career and used big bands, show tunes and jazz. So far, he has won more than 20 Grammy Awards.
But when he was talking about Elvis and Sinatra, he didn’t think the two could be talked about together.
“You can’t compare them,” reveals Tony. “Presley is country music, white music. Jazz is black music – it was invented by [Black people] in New Orleans.”
He said: “I’m really a jazz singer,” before giving some criticism to the King of Rock and Roll.
Tony confessed: “I was influenced by Elvis – he was the prettiest guy I’ve ever lived in my life, and a very nice person too – but the music doesn’t impress me.”
Considering that Elvis has reportedly sold over 1 billion albums to date, this is the superstar’s opinion.
Tony later praised the singer, regardless of his opinion on Elvis’ music.
Over the years, Tony has worked with some big pop talent. One of his favorites was British star Amy Winehouse.
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Tony has released two collaborative albums with pop sensation Lady Gaga.
The pair recorded some classic jazz tracks on albums together.
Talking about Gaga’s talent, Tony said: “The minute I heard [Lady Gaga] Sing, I knew she really knew how to sing.”
He then added: “My first reaction to her is that she’s going to be older than Elvis Presley for the rest of her life. She’s going to be around forever.”
In February 2021, Tony announced that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016.
His illness progressed slowly, so he continued to perform and tour until he faced some physical challenges.
In August 2021 he announced his retirement from concerts.
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