Life Is a Gift: The Zen of Bennett
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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 Bennett’s 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.
of my favorites. I’ve been coming to the Met ever since I was a child because my school was right down the road, and I still haven’t seen everything this museum has to offer. That’s how much art is in there. What’s wonderful about Rembrandt’s self-portrait is that as you’re looking at him, he’s also looking back at you. To me, he’s saying, “Okay now, you know me; but who are you?” You’ll never forget him because his portrait is so completely honest and perfectly true to life; his face is so
think the public is like cattle. João Gilberto is another musician friend who’s also very uncompromising as an artist. He sings very quietly, and he uses an unamplified guitar—no big speaker; just a little microphone so you can hear the natural strings. And he whispers when he sings, in the most beautiful way. João did a concert in Japan, and they gave him a seventeen-minute standing ovation, they responded so well to the excellence of his music. I saw João perform once in Umbria; it was one of
much more hip than he’s given credit for. That was the first time it struck me that an artist should never underestimate the public’s taste. These were guys who had been drafted before they could go to college or barely finish high school, yet they were happy to be exposed to cutting-edge stuff. In fact, they ate it up; they liked the avant-garde material as much as they did the standard tunes. This experience taught me that you can stretch people’s tastes as long as you do high-quality songs.
nobody until someone loves you. The Zen of Bennett Everything you do should be done with love. Pour your heart into your work, your friendships, and your family, and you’ll be rewarded a hundredfold. Give credit to those who work so hard to make your performance or project happen. When you can give yourself up to love, you’re ahead of the game. Lady Gaga 14 When They Zig, I Zag Our country has always celebrated the individual; it is the very essence of what it is to be an
arrived in New York from his native Italy. He was so taken by the welcome he received that he sewed together an oversized flag that combined the American flag with various other flags from around the world, and he hung it outside his house. This small token of appreciation predated the United Nations, but he didn’t realize that it was against the law to deface the American flag. The police came to his house and threatened to arrest him if he didn’t take it down. My uncle didn’t speak English, so