Tony Bennett: Keeping it a family affair

tony-bennett-jan-2012-gi.jpgAs the first person to have a No. 1 album at the age of 85, Tony Bennett credits his family, picking great music and singers from Lady Gaga to Willie Nelson, he tells Zap2it.

Before taking the stage, and earning three ovations in an intimate concert before the Television Critics Association at The Langham in Pasadena, Bennett talks about the last few months, which have been more hectic than usual.

"This album shocked everybody in the music business," he says. "I'm 85 and it went to No. 1 in the Billboard charts."

This promoted a worldwide tour, where he sang with Amy Winehouse in London, Andrea Bocelli in Pisa, Nelson in Nashville and just kept moving.

He consistently credits the other singers, and his training. After he served in World War II, he trained at the American Theater Wing.

"I had the best teachers any singer could have and they taught me to sing only the best songs," he says. "It became my premise to never sing a bad song."

His 73-CD set, "Tony Bennett The Complete Collection" recently came out, and even he is astounded by the enormity of the collection.

The latest one, "Duets II" in which he also sings with Carrie Underwood, Mariah Carey and Queen Latifah is special to him.

"This is the first album I have done with my whole family," he says. 

One son is his manager, another is a producer, his daughter sometimes sings with him and a granddaughter photographed the sessions.

"They are all good people and very nice and are doing a great job," he says. "This was always my dream."
Photo/Video credit: Getty Images