Tony Bennett may be a lifelong New Yorker, but he famously left his heart in San Francisco. Bennett returned there on Friday as the city left him a lasting tribute: an 8-foot-tall bronze statue in honor of the singer’s 90th birthday.
It’s been a month of serenades for Bennett, starting with Billy Joel, who led his legion of fans at Madison Square Garden in July.
On the eve of his birthday, Bennett made a special appearance on “The Late Show.” The next day, he was with his friend Lady Gaga at a special lighting ceremony at the Empire State Building.
The singer -- who turned 90 on Aug. 3 -- was treated later that night by Gaga and Stevie Wonder to a special session at New York’s famed Rainbow Room. Celebrities ranging from Paul McCartney to John Travolta and Bruce Willis were on hand to celebrate.
“CBS This Morning: Saturday” co-host Anthony Mason spoke to Bennett last November about the 100th birthday of his old friend, the late.
“He gave me the best singing lesson I ever had in my life. He said, ‘You have to understand that the public, when they come in to see you, they adore you, they’re your friends,’” Bennett recalled. “’They’re not your enemies. If you look a little frightened on the stage,’ he said, ‘they’ll come up and help you out.’”
But it was Bennett’s Bay Area fans that did the singing Friday night, when thousands of fans serenaded him with “Happy Birthday” at the San Francisco Giants game. Forty-thousand fans cheered Bennett as he performed his famous song for the hometown fans at the game.
A full tribute concert to honor Bennett is planned for next month at Radio City Music Hall. Among those expected to perform are Aretha Franklin, Billy Joel, Elton John, Michael Buble, Lady Gaga and Andrea Bocelli.