Synopses & Reviews
A moving and inspiring memoir from one of the greatest musical artists of all time
"My given name is Anthony Dominick Benedetto, and Benedetto in Italian means 'the blessed one.' I couldn't say it any better than that."
Legendary singer, artist, and performer, Tony Bennett has been one of the world's most beloved entertainers for more than six decades. From the 78 to the LP to the digital age, Tony has done it all and is still at the top of his game. In decade after decade, this artistic icon—who has won seventeen Grammys, sung for ten presidents, and performed for royalty—has refused to compromise his vision or values. His unwavering commitment to quality has helped him stay true to his classic sound and is the reason his music continues to endure. Mentored by such legends as Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and Nat King Cole, Bennett has only gotten better with age, and his popularity continues to grow as each new generation discovers his timeless songs and incredible voice.
In this entertaining and thoughtful memoir, a collection of soulful reflections and philosophies from his life and career, Bennett shares stories of friends and family and the essential lessons they have taught him: of the value of hard work and of creating art that continues to inspire; of perseverance and a dedication to excellence; of the necessity of humility, love, respect, and, most important, gratitude. Bennett cherishes the passion and insatiable thirst for knowledge that have shaped his life and made each day a journey of discovery. He pays tribute to all the remarkable talents he has had the honor to work with and to learn from, including Luciano Pavarotti, Judy Garland, Cary Grant, Fred Astaire, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand, Paul McCartney, Amy Winehouse, Willie Nelson, Lady Gaga, David Hockney, and k.d. lang, to name just a few.
A magnificent testament to an extraordinary man and his art, and illustrated with Tony Bennett's own beautiful hand-drawn artwork, Life Is a Gift is a work that will captivate, delight, and be cherished by music lovers of all ages.
"Relaxed and comfortable but full of vigor, Bennett's voice has charmed audiences for more than 60 years. Writing in the same style as he sings, in this new work he shares meditative lessons culled from his amazing life. Having learned the value of hard work during the Great Depression, the pointlessness of war during WWII, and the importance of being true to yourself during a career that has seen musical fads come and go over and over, Bennett (The Good Life, with Will Friedwald) has developed a loose set of rules by which he lives. Whether he is suggesting people 'Only Sing Good Songs' or 'Everything Should be Done with Love,' Bennett explains how these tenets have shaped his success and makes suggestions about how others can apply them to their lives. Though not an autobiography per se, Bennett shares countless tales about showbiz, his famous friends, his family, and his artistic career. Still, it doesn't matter if he is recounting being awestruck by Frank Sinatra, disagreeing with Columbia Records honcho Clive Davis, or lamenting overindulgence on drugs and alcohol, he remains Zen-like in his delivery. Though slight and not a full account, Bennett's tips for happiness, success, and longevity are like music to the ears." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“Bennett offers inspiring observations from a joyful life fully lived … [in] this generous, upbeat memoir.” Booklist (starred review)
One of the most well-known and beloved vocalists of our time, Tony Bennett is an American icon. Now, in this rich and beautiful memoir, the legendary Grammy and Emmy Award-winning singer takes us behind the scenes of his multi-platinum career. Revealing, insightful, and always moving, Life Is a Gift tells the stories of Bennetts experiences in the music industry, what he learned, and who he met along the way, including Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, and Duke Ellington, as well as Amy Winehouse, John Mayer, and Lady Gaga. A "master class in life," this revealing retrospective offers an intimate look at Tony Bennett's journey, from growing up during the Great Depression to carving a career in popular music that has spanned more than six decades as his popularity among all generations continues to grow.
About the Author
Tony Bennett grew up in Astoria, Queens, during the Great Depression in a family of Italian immigrants. After serving as an infantryman in World War II, he studied singing and then signed with Columbia Records, releasing his first hit in 1951. Over the course of his sixty-year career, he has sold millions of albums; has earned multiple platinum and gold records; has won two Emmy Awards and seventeen Grammys, including the Recording Academy's prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award; and was named a Kennedy Center Honoree.