In this original article posted on Yahoo News, Kaye Foley reports on Couric’s interview with Tony Bennett.
Before becoming a household name, Tony Bennett, born Anthony Dominick Benedetto, was a singing waiter in Queens, N.Y., dreaming of stardom. It wasn’t long before he became a legendary performer with 19 Grammys and over 50 million records sold worldwide.
Couric and Bennett also discussed his 90th birthday celebration special airing December 20 on NBC and the companion CD, “Tony Bennett Celebrates 90,” to be released December 16.
In his new book, Bennett writes about the people who have influenced and inspired him throughout his life, including his parents, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong.
“Ella Fitzgerald, Nat ‘King’ Cole, and Sinatra. … They were 10 years older than I was and they were my heroes when I was studying at the American Theater Wing at the end of the war,” Bennett said. “I gravitated toward that kind of singing. And it’s still better than anything around today.”
Bennett has had a busy year and has no plans to stop. “I love what I do. I’ve always loved it. So I have no desire to retire.”