Tony Bennett’s Wife Reveals The Saddest Part Of His Alzheimer’s Battle
Tony Bennett's wife revealed that he "doesn't know" he has Alzheimer's disease as the crooner faced his final performance with Lady Gaga.
Last week, we reported on legendary singer Tony Bennett’s final performance before his retirement due to Alzheimer’s where the 95 year-old icon was joined on stage by pop star Lady Gaga at Radio City Music Hall.
Bennett’s last on-stage performance was jaw-dropping. His ability to sing his songbook from memory was inspiring. So were the special moments shared with his duet partner Lady Gaga.
But it’s not all beautiful music and special moments for Tony Bennett.
His wife, Susan Benedetto, recently opened up about a sadder side of the crooner’s health battle. She says that sadly, Bennett “doesn’t know” that he has Alzheimer’s disease.
Tony Bennett’s Wife Says The Crooner ‘Doesn’t Know’ That He Has Alzheimer’s
Bennett is reportedly unaware of his condition despite the fact that he and his family revealed it to the world back in February.
“He doesn’t know he has it,” Benedetto explained during an interview with “60 Minutes.”
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“He recognizes me, thank goodness, his children, you know, we are blessed in a lot of ways,” she said, according to Fox News. “He’s very sweet.”
Bennett’s Doctor Speaks Out
Dr. Gaytari Devi, who diagnosed Bennett with Alzheimer’s, explained that the legendary performer “knows he’s Tony Bennett and he knows how to behave like Tony Bennett.”
“That’s an area of the brain that’s just so an innately hardwired part of his brain,” she said. “And it’s also an area of his brain that gives [him] real meaning and purpose in his life, and it’s imbued with emotion.”
“I mean, that’s the other thing about music that sets it apart, is that it is a part of the brain that’s very emotional,” she added. “Music is housed in different parts of the brain, including parts of the brain that deal with emotion, and therefore, it’s easy to be moved by it when you hear it.”
AARP magazine previously reported that Bennett had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2016.
Back in August, Bennett’s son Danny told Variety that his father was cancelling concerts in New York, Maryland, Connecticut, Arizona, Oklahoma and Canada.
“It’s not the singing aspect but rather the traveling,” Danny said at the time. “He gets tired. We don’t want him to fall on stage, for instance. We’re not worried about him being able to sing. We are worried, from a physical standpoint… about human nature.”
Doctor ‘Humbled’ By Devotion Of Tony Bennett’s Wife
Dr. Devi admitted that she was impressed with the level of devotion that wife Susan Benedetto has had to Tony Bennett as his caregiver.
“I’ve been humbled by the level of devotion,” Devi explained. “She also expects a lot from him. I think her background as a teacher helps, but she’s also very much in love with him. And he rises to her expectations.”
Even so, caring for Bennett has not been easy for his wife.
“There’s a lot about him that I miss,” Benedetto confessed. “Because he’s not the old Tony anymore. But when he sings, he’s the old Tony.”
What a gift to the world. Tony Bennett was in a class of his own and his final performance at Radio City Music Hall with Lady Gaga was one for the ages.
God bless and keep you, Mr. Bennett.