Tony Bennett Returns To The Billboard Hot 100 After 44 Years

September 27, 2011 by Amy Gold

Tony Bennett Duets II album cover

Best known for his signature hit, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” Tony Bennett is on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart again. This week, 85-year-old Bennett earned the distinction as the oldest living artist to appear on the chart. Bennett appeared on the first Billboard’s Hot 100 chart in 1958 with "Young and Warm and Wonderful” and last appeared on the chart in 1967 with "For Once In My Life." Prior to the establishment of the Billboard Hot 100, Bennett had a long string of pop hits that began in 1951 with the chart-topping "Because Of You."

The singer, who began his career in 1951, earned his place in 2011 reaching No. 87 on Billboard’s chart with a song titled "Body and Soul," a duet performed with the late Amy Winehouse. "Body and Soul” was released on what would have been Winehouse’s birthday, Sept. 14, 2011 and appears on Bennett’s album, "Duets II,” which was released six days later on Sept. 20, 2011.

Bennett recorded a long string of hit songs from 1951 to 1967, including the top hits "Rags to Riches” and "The Beat of My Heart.” The singer has received the Grammy Award 15 times, including 10 times for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance. The increased popularity of rock music was the catalyst for an extended downturn in Bennett’s personal life and musical career.

An incredible comeback was made by Bennett in the late 1980s, expanding his audience to include fans of the MTV generation. In addition to selling over 50 million records worldwide, Bennett has authored three books and is an accomplished painter who sells his paintings under the name Benedetto. The octogenarian continues to perform to a live audience and had concerts scheduled on both coasts in the month of September, featuring guests who performed with him on both "Duets” albums. Film from his sessions with Winehouse will be included in a making-of documentary.