Tony Bennett

Legendary singer Tony Bennett, 94, has revealed that he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016, and he has been battling it ever since.

Bennett Diagnosed With Alzheimer’s

Bennett revealed his diagnosis in an article that was published on Monday by AARP magazine. Bennett shared the article on Twitter, adding that “life is a gift, even with Alzheimer’s,” before thanking his third wife Susan Crow, 54, and his family for their support. 

The article revealed that though Bennett was diagnosed in 2016, he didn’t begin to show signs of a cognitive decline until two years later. His decline started showing up when he was recording the follow-up album to “Cheek To Cheek” with Lady Gaga. Their new album will be released this spring. 

“There’s a lot about him that I miss. Because he’s not the old Tony anymore … But when he sings, he’s the old Tony,” said Lady Gaga.

Listen to Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga sing “Cheek to Cheek” live:

Related: Former Prima Ballerina With Alzheimer’s Begins To Dance When Swan Lake Plays

Bennett’s Doctors Speak Out 

Dr. Gayatri Devi, who diagnosed Bennett, added, “He is doing so many things, at 94, that many people without dementia cannot do, He really is the symbol of hope for someone with a cognitive disorder.”

Bennett’s doctors said that the star still has singing sessions twice a week, and they believe that this is stimulating his brain in a positive way.

Here’s one of my favorites –  “I Left My Heart In San Francisco”:

They also said that thus far, Bennett has been “spared” some of the disease’s worst symptoms, including disorientation, episodes of rage, depression, and a detachment from reality.

Bennett’s wife told CBS This Morning that Bennett is not in any pain. 

“You know, he works out five times a week. He sings twice a week with a pianist that comes over. He only understands if something is an ouch, you know, then there’s a problem,” she said. “He knows all his kids, absolutely. And he knows me. When you’re somebody’s caregiver 24/7, it goes a long way if they still know you.”

“You know, every night when we go to bed, he says, ‘I love you, Susan.’ And every morning when he wakes up he says, ‘I love you,'” she added. 

Going Public With Diagnosis

Susan revealed that she and Bennett decided to go public with his diagnosis now. They wanted to let fans know why he will be unable to do promotional interviews for his upcoming album.

She also talked about the fact that the Hollywood star Sean Connery had died in his sleep in October at the age of 90 after battling dementia.

“I’m hoping for that with Tony,” she said. “Hopefully he’ll just go to sleep one night and that will be that. I’m hoping and praying that he won’t take a turn for the worse that’s really crazy bad.”

Here’s another of Tony’s iconic songs – “Fly Me To The Moon,” — makes me tear up a bit…

Please join us in saying a prayer for Bennett during this difficult time. 

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