October 1, 2011 by Amy Gold
Tony Bennett is living proof that persistence pays off. At the age of 85, Bennett has achieved the #1 album spot on the Billboard 200 with "Duets II." The album pairs Bennett with 17 different singers and includes highly publicized songs with the late Amy Winehouse and Lady Gaga.
Fourteen-time Grammy winner Bennett last appeared on Billboard's 200 chart with his first "Duets" album in 2006. "Duets" topped off at the #3 position. In addition to beating out Bob Dylan as the oldest living performer to achieve the #1 album position, Bennett also holds the honor of appearing on the first-ever Billboard's chart.
Within the past week, Bennett also became the oldest living singer to make the Billboard Hot 100 with "Body & Soul," a duet he performed with Winehouse which is included on "Duets II." According to Nielsen SoundScan, album sales of 179,000 sky-rocketed "Duets II" into the #1 position.
The legendary Bennett promoted the album with a concert on each coast in September. "Duets II" contains 17 tracks featuring artists from a variety of musical backgrounds, including Andrea Bocelli, Natalie Cole, John Mayer and Willie Nelson. A making-of documentary of recording sessions for the "Duets II" album is in the works and includes sessions with Winehouse.