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Celebrating the Legacy of Tony Bennett: Explore the Iconic Singer's Thoughts on N.J. and Beloved Frank Sinatra

Tony Bennett, who passed away at 96, was a member of the New Jersey Hall of Fame.

Tony Bennett, the legendary singer who passed away at the age of 96, had a special connection to New Jersey. In his autobiography "The Good Life," Bennett revealed that his early career as a performer had a link to the state. He once performed at the Piccadilly, a club in Paramus, using the stage name Joe Bari.

However, Bennett's ties to New Jersey went beyond that one gig. During his induction into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2011, Bennett spoke fondly of his time living in Englewood from 1957 to 1971. He expressed his love for the area and the optimism he felt during that period. Bennett even named his property in Englewood "Next Day Hill."

Bennett's connection to New Jersey extended to his family as well. He and his son, Daegal "Dae" Bennett, opened Bennett Studios in Englewood. Dae, a talented recording engineer, has earned numerous Grammy awards for his work. In fact, Bennett playfully exaggerated by saying that his son has more Grammys than he does. At the time of the hall of fame induction, Bennett had 15 Grammys, while Dae had 20 (though Dae currently has 10 Grammy wins out of 14 nominations).

One of the greatest moments in Bennett's career came when Frank Sinatra, a fellow New Jersey native, declared him his favorite singer. Bennett learned about Sinatra's praise while he was in London. He received a call informing him that Sinatra had made a public comment about him in Life magazine. Bennett eagerly awaited the details until he returned home. Sinatra had consistently regarded Bennett as his favorite singer throughout his life, which deeply touched Bennett. He considered Sinatra his master, especially since Sinatra was ten years older.

In addition to his musical achievements, Bennett and his wife Susan Crow Benedetto co-founded the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts high school in Astoria, Queens, in 2001. This school was a tribute to Sinatra, who had passed away in 1998.

Tony Bennett concluded his hall of fame remarks with an outpouring of love. His connection to New Jersey, both personally and professionally, was evident throughout his life. From his early performances in Paramus to his time living in Englewood, Bennett cherished his experiences in the state. His musical legacy and contributions to the arts will forever be remembered and celebrated.

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