Celebrities mourn his passing on social media

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Celebrities mourn his passing on social media

The singer Nancy Sinatra, Frank Sinatra’s daughter, said Bennett was a kind soul.

“Tony was one of the most splendid people who ever lived,” she tweeted. “Kind, loving, talented and generous, he never let us down. Sending my love to Susan, Danny and their family and friends. Tony was a true champion.”

Fran Drescher, president of the SAG-AFTRA union for film actors and other entertainment workers, recalled Bennett as a true gem, on and off stage.

“Tis w/ gr8 sadness, we say farewell to the late great Tony Bennett,” Drescher tweeted. “He exemplified a person who was good as gold, sweet like sugar & a deeply feeling, empathic human being. I wish more had the stuff you were made of Tony. RIP.”

Bernice King, the daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. and the head of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, tweeted that Bennett cared deeply about civil rights.

#TonyBennett was a national and global treasure who utilized his platform as a legendary performer to stand for Civil Rights,” King tweeted. “In 2002, @TheKingCenter, under my mother’s leadership, awarded him our Salute to Greatness Award. It was our honor to honor Mr. Bennett.”

Newsman Dan Rather said Bennett was one of the few performers who truly earned his designation as a legend.

“Many people are called legends,” Rather tweeted. “Few embodied the word like Tony Bennett. His voice. His presence. His style. He was timely and timeless. He had an otherworldly talent of coaxing the sublime out of the music he sang. But he was also a consummate craftsman and tireless worker. He earned his longevity and we all benefited from it. He will be missed.”

Actor Chazz Palminteri praised Bennett’s signature voice.

“Tony Bennett has lived a life we all dream of,” Palminteri tweeted. “He was a beautiful man and a voice for the ages. Rest In Peace My friend.”

Rocker Ozzy Osbourne remarked on Bennett’s death as well.

“Very sad to hear about Tony Bennett’s passing,” Osbourne tweeted. “Rest in Peace.”

Guitarist Joe Bonamassa echoed the thoughts of many when he described Bennett as “one the best” performers of all time.

“Rest in Peace to one of the best to ever grace the stage,” Bonamassa tweeted. “I was just saying that the greatest gig I had ever witnessed was Tony Bennett at North Sea Jazz in 2012. It was like dropping a needle on a record. He was the last of the greatest generation of singers and musicians.”

The sports world chimed in too, with commentator Rich Eisen tweeting out condolences.

“RIP Tony Bennett,” Eisen wrote with a broken heart emoji.

Publicist Sylvia Weiner confirmed Bennett’s death to The Associated Press, saying he died in his hometown of New York. There was no specific cause, but Bennett had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016.

The last of the crooners of the mid-20th century, Bennett often said his lifelong ambition was to create “a hit catalog rather than hit records.” He released more than 70 albums, bringing him 19 competitive Grammys — all but two after he reached his 60s — and enjoyed deep and lasting affection from fans and fellow artists.

Nile Rodgers, a producer, composer, and guitarist who serves as chief creative advisor to Abbey Road Studios, also lamented Bennett’s passing and said he felt close to the singer’s family and friends on an emotional level.

“My most heartfelt condolences go out to Tony Bennett’s family and friends,” Rodgers tweeted. “They’re also my emotional family and friends.”

Buddy Winston, who wrote for “The Tonight Show,” recalled a moment when Bennett performed one of his best-known songs, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” for a taping of the late-night program.

“Taping days @ Tonight Show musical guest would do a run through @ noon,” Winston tweeted. “I would often be the only audience. Many superstars sang almost only to me. Tony Bennett sang “I left my heart in San Francisco” while almost exclusively looking my way. Then asked what I thought….xox”

The San Francisco Giants baseball team noted Friday that Bennett’s music will continue to ring out over the public address system at their home ballyard.

“The #SFGiants are saddened to hear of the loss of Tony Bennett, a true legend whose music will live on at Oracle Park,” the team tweeted. “We cherish the memories of his friendship & many visits. We will remember him for leaving his heart in San Francisco. Our deepest condolences to his family.”

Music publicist Eric Alper, who hosts a show on Sirius XM, lauded Bennett’s “incredible talent” Friday.

“Deeply saddened by the passing of a true legend, Tony Bennett, at age 96,” Alper tweeted. “His timeless voice and incredible talent have left an indelible mark on the music world. Rest in peace, and thank you for the beautiful memories.”

The MTV network, meanwhile, said his legacy will live on in his peerless catalogue of hits. Bennett performed on the “MTV Unplugged” show in the mid-1990s. The live performance was released on an album soon after.

“Tony Bennett, the legendary singer who kept us listening to classics for over 7 decades, has passed away at the age of 96,” the network tweeted. “His legacy will live on as a fearless, innovative and timeless musician.”

The History Channel also praised Bennett’s work.

“He sang throughout his entire life, winning 18 Grammy Awards and honors from the United Nations and the Kennedy Center,” the network tweeted. “He found new success later in life when he collaborated with Lady Gaga, recording acclaimed music and touring together.”

Lady Gaga hadn’t commented publicly on Bennett’s death as of 10 a.m. Friday, but a leading fan site devoted to the pop star, Gaga Daily, quickly took to Twitter to mourn the loss of arguably her most famous collaborator.

“Not only was Tony Bennett a once-in-a-generation talent, he also could make any room laugh,” the site tweeted. “Thanks for everything, Mr. Bennett!”

The tweet also included a video of Bennett and Gaga sharing a light moment together onstage.

In addition, the fan site thanked Bennett for recording so many beloved tunes.

“Rest in Peace, Mr. Tony Bennett. Thank you for sharing your talent with the world,” Gaga Daily tweeted.

Even NASA chimed in Friday.

“Tony Bennett, legend and music icon, reminds us there’s no place in space like our own planet,” the federal space agency tweeted. “Rest in peace.”

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report. This story will be updated.


Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com.



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