Tony Bennett is a popular American singer. Born in Queens, New York on August 3, 1926, Bennett grew up under the influence of jazz musicians like Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, and Al Jolson. He began attending an art school in his teens but dropped out to support his family. He began singing in nightclubs around New York and winning accolades for his resonant and warm voice. He was drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II and would serve on the front lines in Germany. In 1949 Pearl Bailey discovered him and had him open for her, which began his professional career as a singer. His first big hit came in 1953 when he performed Arthur Hammerstein's "Because of You." He followed this with Hank Williams' "Cold, Cold Heart" and Richard Adler's "Rags to Riches." He became a national favorite in the 50s and 60s, but as music evolved, Bennett went through a number of hard years without a recording contract. He nearly overdosed on cocaine in 1979, but then his career began to recuperate. In his later years, he appeared on Late Night with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and The Simpsons.
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