I enjoyed this article that appeared recently in the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper that asked the question Is Tony Bennett 86-going-on-16?
But as the author George Varga says:
It’s tempting to describe Tony Bennett as 86-going-on-16. Tempting, but inaccurate, since it’s difficult to think of any teenager who can match this legendary singer’s tireless work ethic, infectious passion for music and seemingly boundless quest for new artistic adventures.
All I know is that I am in awe of musicianship and artistry of Tony Bennett. I’ve attended three of his concerts since he turned 86 and those performances have all been outstanding. I know that I’m a couple of decades younger than Tony Bennett and sometimes feel pretty put-upon to do a 40 hour work week. And yet, Tony Bennett is not only touring the world, but also painting every day, recording new albums, writing books, doing publicity, performing at benefit concerts and being completely engaged in his foundation Exploring The Arts and his new project Voices Against Violence. And yes, he does make me feel like a slacker.
This morning, his Twitter feed posted a link to this article with the question “What do you think?”
I think that Tony Bennett finds great joy in all the work he does. He has said many times how much he loves to sing and paint and how because he loves what he does so much, it never feels like work. From the audience side, I only know that I am in the presence of someone who finds so much joy in performing. And I believe that joy in his work makes him seem ageless in so many ways.
What I think strikes people about Tony Bennett is that here is a man who has seen and done everything and brings all of that experience to his art, with the enthusiasm, energy and wonder of a much younger man. It’s a magical combination that audiences all over the world have responded to.
The Atlantic Council presented its top global leadership awards this evening to the following notable persons:
- Hillary Rodham Clinton, Former US Secretary of State, received the Distinguished International Leadership Award.
- Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Secretary General of NATO, also received the Distinguished International Leadership Award.
- John S. Watson, Chairman and CEO of Chevron, received the Distinguished Business Leadership Award.
- Tony Bennett, Performer and Humanitarian, received the Distinguished Artistic Leadership Award.
- Juanes, Musician and Social Activist, received the Distinguished Humanitarian Leadership Award.
The Atlantic Council is a non-partisan institution with a mission to promote transatlantic cooperation and international security. Now in its 50th year, the Atlantic Council is addressing problems including challenges from violent extremism, financial instability, energy security and future of the North American Treaty Organization (NATO). You can read more about their mission, history and activities at their website.
The Year of Tony Bennett congratulates Mr. Bennett on his receipt of this award. As a performer, painter, author and humanitarian, we cannot think of anyone who more exemplifies leadership in the Arts.
Some tweets from the awards ceremony:
(note: Hillary Clinton was introduced by Henry Kissinger)
You may know that Tony Bennett and his son Danny have partnered with the Brady Campaign to start a grassroots campaign called Voices Against Violence to contact our representatives in Congress to ask them to pass common-sense guns laws to keep our communities safe.
Since the launch of this campaign on the Piers Morgan show on CNN last week, nearly 10,000 calls have been made. Today, Paul McCartney has lent his voice to Voices Against Violence, joining other celebrities including Alec Baldwin, Gloria Estefan, Josh Groban, kd lang, Mia Farrow, Juanes and many more.
To participate, text MYVOICE to 877877. You’ll be asked to provide your zip code and then you’ll hear Tony or Paul McCartney thank you for your support and you’ll be automatically connected to a senator from your state.