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.