Tony Bennett Reveals He Has Been Diagnosed With Alzheimer's Disease

The 94-year-old crooner was diagnosed with the condition four years ago.

Tony Bennett has revealed he has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

The legendary crooner received his diagnosis in 2016, and went public with his condition on Monday afternoon.

“Life is a gift – even with Alzheimer’s,” 94-year-old wrote on Twitter, alongside a link to an article announcing his diagnosis with AARP, a US campaign group whose specialty is age-related issues.

“Thank you to Susan [Tony’s wife of 13 years] and my family for their support, and AARP The Magazine for telling my story.”

In the article, neurologist Gayatri Devi, who diagnosed Tony, told the AARP he has “an amazingly versatile brain”.

While she said he has some “cognitive issues”, there are “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,” she said. “He really is the symbol of hope for someone with a cognitive disorder.”

However, the article also said that the 20-time Grammy winner’s condition is worsening.

The AARP said: “Bennett, first diagnosed in 2016, has so far been spared the disorientation that can prompt patients to wander from home, as well as the episodes of terror, rage or depression that can accompany Alzheimer’s’ frightening detachment from reality; and, indeed, he might never develop these symptoms.

“But there was little doubt that the disease had progressed. Even his increasingly rare moments of clarity and awareness reveal the depths of his debility.”

Tony Bennett on stage in 2019
Tony Bennett on stage in 2019
JOSEPH PREZIOSO via Getty Images

Tony signed his first record deal in 1950, after serving in World War II, and has gone on to release more than 70 albums.

In 2006 and 2011 he released his two-part Duets collection, which featured collaborations with John Legend, George Michael, Mariah Carey, Amy Winehouse and Lady Gaga.

This led him to release a whole album of duets with Lady Gaga, titled Cheek To Cheek.

Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett performing in Las Vegas in January 2020
Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett performing in Las Vegas in January 2020
Kevin Mazur via Getty Images

The AARP article also revealed he had recorded a second collection with Gaga between 2018 and 2020, which will be released in the spring.

Tony’s family said the upcoming release was a key component in the decision to speak openly about his condition, noting the star is no longer up to promotional interviews.

Read the AARP’s full piece here.


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