Elton John, Billy Joel, Michael Bublé and more pay tribute to Tony Bennett

Kristofer Purnell - Philstar.com
Elton John, Billy Joel, Michael Bublé and more pay tribute to Tony Bennett
Singer Tony Bennett performs at Radio City Music Hall on October 11, 2013 in New York City.
Getty Images via AFP / Brad Barket

MANILA, Philippines — Legendary American singer Tony Bennett died on July 21 at the ripe age of 96, his life immortalized by his peers in personal tributes.

A few of Bennett's achievements include 20 Grammy awards, 50 million records sold globally, and Kennedy Center honors in 2005.

His decades-long career saw him collaborate with artists from different generations, including Aretha Franklin, Amy Winehouse, Queen Latifah, Mariah Carey, Barbra Streisand, Elvis Costello, George Michael, Stevie Wonder, and, most recently, Lady Gaga.


A post shared by Elton John (@eltonjohn)

Fellow hitmaker from across the Atlantic, Elton John, was among the first to share some personal thoughts. He previously performed Bennett's 1953 single "Rags to Riches."

"Without doubt the classiest singer, man, and performer you will ever see. He’s irreplaceable. I loved and adored him," John wrote on Instagram. 

US President Joe Biden issued a statement following Bennett's passing. He commended the late singer as a timeless artist and an American classic who sang the classics in a career spanning seven decades.

"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 said, referencing some of Bennett's hits.

Former US president Barack Obama shared similar sentiments on Twitter, particularly noting Bennett's performance at an event following his second inauguration in 2013. Obama called the late singer an "iconic songwriter, an entertainer who charmed generations of fans... a good man."

Comedian and television host David Letterman posted on his own Twitter account a video of Bennett performing "Everybody Has The Blues" back when he still hosted "Late Night."

Alec Baldwin shared a video of himself impersonating Bennett on "Saturday Night Live" in 2006, where the singer himself joined in on a skit.

Singer-actor Harry Connick Jr. also tweeted a photo of himself with Bennett, saying the singer "changed the world with his voice" and thanked him for his kindness.

Another peer, Billy Joel, whom Bennett performed with several times as seen in photos posted by the former on Instagram, praised Bennett for his uniqueness and for being "one of the nicest human beings I've ever known."


A post shared by Billy Joel (@billyjoel)

"He championed songwriters who might otherwise have remained unknown to many millions of music fans," continued Joel. "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."

Sharing The Washington Post's story about Bennett's death, actor Josh Gad said it would be hard to imagine a world without the great singer.

Singer Michael Bublé shared on Instagram his personal connection and relationship with Bennett. The crooner shared that his grandfather constantly played the late singer's records, and he would later be mentored by Bennett himself.

"Having my hero take me under his wing was one of the greatest moments of my life and my career. How did I get so lucky to kneel at the feet of the master for 2 decades?" Michael Bublé said. "Tony, I'll never stop learning from you, and I promise you I'll do my best to keep the music we cherish alive."

RELATED: Tony Bennett, last of classic American crooners, dead at 96

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