Tony Bennett's family has recently revealed he has been diagnosed with a heartbreaking disease...
The announcement comes after a recent profile update was published by AARP.
Of course, fans of the legendary singer have been concerned about his health for a while now, but this has confirmed their worst fears.
Keep scrolling for all the details.
Now, we all know Tony Bennett for his singing talent.
Born in Queens, New York City, the jazz singer, full name Anthony Dominick Benedetto, has had a career that spanned over half a century, cementing him as one of the all-time greats in his field.
As a teenager, Bennett used to sing while waiting tables.
He came from a small, quite poor Italian family, who had pretty ordinary jobs. His mother was a seamstress, while his father settled as a grocer. His extended family was involved in the arts - his uncle was a tap dancer, but his career did not manage to take off.
However, Bennett was determined to make his dreams a reality.
Even though he joined the army during World War II, he did not forget his love for singing. Along with some other men, he performed in military bands and later had vocal training at the American Theatre Wing School.
After the war ended in 1945, he decided to pursue his desired career, and boy did it pay off.
His first-ever performance took place in a nightclub the following year and after a few more performances here and there, he managed to catch his big break in 1949.
The comedian, Bob Hope, saw him performing and took him to audition for Paramount where they changed his name and made him the definition of the American Dream.
In his own words, Bennett later recalled the moment saying "'[Hope said] We'll call you Tony Bennett.' And that's how it happened. A new Americanized name - the start of a wonderful career and a glorious adventure that has continued for over sixty years."
His career has been nothing short of impressive.
With a total of nineteen Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Lifetime Award, and millions of records sold worldwide, Bennett introduced jazz vibes to modern audiences throughout the decades.
I'm sure you'd know some of his classics, right?
He had multiple chart-toppers such as "Because of You," "Rags to Riches," and a remake of Hank Williams' "Cold, Cold Heart."
According to his website, he has also had a massive twenty-four songs in the Top 40s...
"I Wanna Be Around," "The Good Life," "Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me)," and his signature song, "I Left My Heart In San Francisco," which later got him 2 Grammy Awards.
And in more recent times, the singer has collaborated with lots of other legends too.
After he turned eighty, he released the album Duets: An American Classic, which featured the likes of Paul McCartney, Elton John, Barbra Streisand, and Bono.
Due to the success of his first album, just 5 years down the line, he released Duets II...
And again, this album featured a whole bunch of other famous artists, from Michael Bublé, Aretha Franklin, and Josh Groban, to Lady Gaga, John Mayer, and the late Amy Winehouse.
So, saying Tony Bennett is a pretty accomplished man would be somewhat of an understatement.
At ninety-four-years old, the singer has cemented his legacy in the world of music, and touched the hearts of millions globally.
And he's always giving back to the community.
Bennett set up ETA programs in collaboration with education boards in order to help students get the funding to learn and pursue careers in the arts. Lots of subjects in the field always seem to be the first to face budget costs, but Bennett is a believer that they are a crucial part of children's education.
So it's no wonder why he's got a very loyal and supportive following.
However, they were recently left heartbroken upon hearing that their idol had been diagnosed with a terrible disease.
@CNN Absolutely awful. I first saw Tony in the 1960s during his tour in London with Buddy Rich. I just don’t want t… https://t.co/9CElt11WTT— Stephen Gilchrist (@Stephen Gilchrist)1612195146.0
@CNN There is clearly a great deal of sadness around the world today. Tony Bennet has given generations so much joy… https://t.co/9eXZcZtJJA— raj chana (@raj chana)1612194145.0
@CNN Our thoughts are with the Bennett family— Marc Hyman (@Marc Hyman)1612191810.0
@CNN This a tragedy - not that the disease isn't terrible for all sufferers and their loved ones but Toni Bennet is a legend...— email@example.com (@firstname.lastname@example.org)1612192662.0
@CNN Our hearts go out to his loved ones! He is one of the best crooners in the world!— HMM11960 (@HMM11960)1612194393.0
@CNN Sending my prayers and love to you and your family Mr. Bennett— rachael galluzzo (@rachael galluzzo)1612192279.0
@CNN We saw him in Hamilton Ontario in 1997. Third row center seats. He was marvelous! God bless him.— Joseph Fusca (@Joseph Fusca)1612192599.0
@CNN Heartbreaking.— Ruthie Heatherington (@Ruthie Heatherington)1612192701.0
@CNN Nooooo😥😥😥😥😥😥😥— Álvaro (@Álvaro)1612191685.0
While conducting an interview with AARP, his family revealed some important information about his health.
While they described it as a "gift," they also revealed how difficult the journey has been.
The legendary singer has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's.
His wife, Susan, said that it's been 4 years since he first received the diagnosis, but the family kept it a secret up until now.
"There's a lot about him that I miss," she told the outlet.
"Because he's not the old Tony anymore … But when he sings, he's the old Tony."
Alzheimer's disease is one of the most terrible things a person can be diagnosed with.
via: Getty ImagesAlzheimer's is a physical disease of the brain that usually comes after a person has been suffering from dementia, which is a whole range of diseases that affect the brain.
It affects a lot more people than one would think...
via: Getty ImagesAccording to the Alzheimer's Association, an estimated 5.8 million Americans are currently living with the disease.
It more than often affects elderly people...
via: Getty ImagesAnd symptoms include forgetfulness, confusion, getting lost in familiar places, and personality changes.
The stages of Alzheimer's progress steadily...
via: Getty Images
And the final stages are truly the worst when a person doesn't even know who they are anymore.
They completely forget who their family members and friends are, and in extreme cases, a person can forget basic skills such as brushing their teeth, using the toilet, and even speaking.
It is a truly heartbreaking process...
And it is even harder for those close to the person suffering as they will notice all these drastic changes happen in a short space of time.
The outlet revealed that Bennett's condition has progressed...
But thankfully, "been spared the disorientation that can prompt patients to wander from home, as well as the episodes of terror, rage or depression."
The author, John Colapinto, wrote about some of the scenes that took place during his visit to the Bennett home, saying this:
"At one point, as Susan and I stood chatting, he looked up suddenly from the book in his lap and, flashing that familiar smile, asked me in his soft, sueded whisper, "How's the weather outside?" Had I not known that he and Susan had just returned from walking their dog in the park, I might not have suspected that anything was amiss."
But regardless of how serious the condition gets, Bennett's love for music remains as strong as ever.
He still rehearses twice a week.
We're truly saddened by the news.
If you want to read the entire profile written by AARP, click here. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time.
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