Tony Bennett’s family has revealed the legendary artist has been battling with Alzheimer’s Disease since 2016. In an interview with AARP Magazine, his wife of 13 years, Susan Crow confirmed the news, saying his illness has progressed since.
“Tony himself remains content and happy,” writes AARP’s John Colapinto.
“But that’s because he already didn’t understand,” says Susan Crow.
“He would ask me, ‘What is Alzheimer’s?’ I would explain, but he wouldn’t get it. He’d tell me, ‘Susan, I feel fine.’ That’s all he could process — that physically he felt great. So, nothing changed in his life. Anything that did change, he wasn’t aware of.”
Tony Bennett’s doctor, Gayatri Devi, M.D told AARP that the 94-year-old has some, “cognitive issues, but multiple other areas of his brain are still resilient and functioning well.”
“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.”
Devi said that Bennett had been doing really well prior to COVID-19, when he could perform and get that high he loved.
“And he’s not alone,” she said.
“So many of my patients are negatively affected by the isolation, the inability to do the things that matter to them. For someone like Tony Bennett, the big high he gets from performing was very important.”
The feature also revealed that Bennett and Lady Gaga have recorded follow ups to their 2014 collaborative effort Cheek To Cheek.
The songs were apparently recorded across spaced-out sessions through 2018 and early 2020.
We’ll get to hear them this coming Autumn.