Tony Bennett still has it. Who else?

Tony-Bennett

Image Credit: John Barrett/Globe Photos/Zumapress.com

The casual music fan who watched this season’s American Idol finale and saw Tony Bennett, who turns 85 next month, dueting with Haley Reinhart knows Bennett is still going strong, but you can’t really appreciate how amazing he sounds until you see him live. I caught a show recently, and he’s the first singer to ever make me tear up twice in the same song (“Maybe This Time”). After 60 years in the business, his voice is still powerful and he’s made holding a mic into an art form — he knows precisely how the distance from his mouth will affect not only the volume but the mood. I love it when he drops the mic by his side and the sound is faint, intimate, and pure. 

Bennett will release a second Duets album this September featuring collaborations with the likes of Andrea Bocelli, Michael Bublé, Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin, Josh Groban, Carrie Underwood, and Amy Winehouse. When I saw him, he dedicated “The Good Life” to Lady Gaga, who he said he may be recording with in the future. (“At this time, we can not confirm that they will actually be doing a duet together,” Bennett’s rep tells EW. “He’s a big fan and vice versa, and I’m sure Tony would love to work with her at some point in time… “) We all like to tout the next big thing, but today, let’s give shout-outs to the artists who had it and kept it. Which seasoned artists have you seen in concert and thought damn, they’ve still got it.


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  • Templar

    Elton, although he’s not in Tony Bennett’s age group. Steven Tyler, and Mick Jagger are on that path, too. But, let’s face it how many singers Tony’s age are there?

    • Aprilcot26

      While Sir Elton still puts on a good show, he doesn’t quite sound like he used to. He doesn’t always hit those high notes square on, and when he does go there, he doesn’t hold them as long anymore.

      • John T.

        I love Elton and agree, but his voice can still be pretty powerful even if he can’t hit the high notes like he used to.

  • Ben

    Johnny Mathis and Franki Valli still have it. I saw both live in concert earlier this year. They both sound great.

  • Lloyd

    Though she’s 20 years younger than Bennett, Stevie Nicks is every bit as amazing as she was 35 years ago. A great live performer who is still writing and recording relevant music. Probably no other woman in rock history has been so vital in her 60s. Maybe Tina Turner from a live performance perspective, but not in terms of making new music.

    • Templar

      Cher fits into that category as well.

  • Scott

    Tina Turner. Not quite as old as Tony, but still a fine live performer.

  • Aprilcot26

    I saw Willie Nelson a few years ago, and he sounded just as awesome as always!

  • Tygor1

    In April, my partner and I went to see Jon Anderson from YES perform at BB King’s in Times Square. Not only was it amazing to see the amount of people that came to see him, it was amazing how he has been able to still command a crowd and keep them in complete awe and attention. No one in that audience would make a sound that wasn’t either clapping, mouthing the words to his songs or lightly sobbing. He STILL has it.

  • Cher’s Botox dealer

    Cher still has it, and she’s older than Bennett.

    • Templar

      Bennett is 20 years older than Cher and you are an ignoramus.

      • Monty

        A large percent of Cher is only a few years old. She’s passed the 50% synthetic threshold…

  • DC

    Tina Turner, Bettye Lavette, Gladys Knight and Millie Jackson all still dynamic performers.

  • A$$hat

    You mention he plans to duet with Amy Winehouse. Let’s all hope she’s still around by September.

  • Zosimus

    How about the phenomenally talented Barabara Cook? Still a breathtakingly gorgeous voice

  • Jean

    Tony sings and swings. He doesn’t yell or scream or have to wear outrageous clothes or use props. He sang Lullaby of Broadway at the Tonys a couple of years ago and was followed by one of today’s big stars. He made her sound like a hyena. Classy guy.

  • Will

    Tom Jones. The man’s in his 70s now, but he can still tear it up live.

    • carolyn

      my first thought too…he us still smokin…and he was before my time

    • amie

      I couldn’t agree more, he is still amazing live.

  • Pez

    I was going to say Barbara Cook, but Zosimus beat me to it. 85 as well I believe, and though rusting a little, will always make you feel like she is still Marian the Librarian.

  • Squee

    To be fair, Tony has never really strained his voice or had any sort of range, so, why wouldn’t it still sound fine?

    • abadstroller

      While he doesn’t have a huge range, he picks songs that work for him and does them with style. Tony Bennett can phrase and parse lyrics like no one else alive (even if Frank Sinatra were still around, Tony still has that over Frank).

  • jfms777

    Barbra. One word covers it all.

    • Eric

      Her voice is not even close to what it once was.

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