Tony Bennett had some sweet last words for his late wife Susan Benedetto before he died at 96 in late July. In an interview with TODAY on Thursday, Benedetto, 56, opened up to Hoda Kotb about the end of the beloved crooner’s life.
Benedetto told the host what his final words for her were.
“That he loved me,” she recalled. “Yeah. He would wake up every day and still say that. He woke up happy every day. Even if he had had a bad day or night, he didn’t remember it. That was the only blessing. He woke up happy. And he’s just like, ‘Susan. You’re the best thing that ever happened to me.’ And he would say that to me all the time.”
Bennett’s widow also revealed the “Cheek to Cheek” singer could remember his songs and was even singing one of his early classics in the days leading up to his death.
“He sang ‘Because of You.’ We were getting him up to exercise, and so it was easy to just latch onto the piano,” she said.
“And I said, ‘Ton, why don’t you get up and you can sing?’ You know, any excuse to just get him up. I said, ‘Why don’t you sing?’ He’s like, ‘What do you want to hear?’ I said, ‘How about singing “Because of You”?’ So he sang ‘Because of You,'” Benedetto recalled.
She added, “Literally, that was the last song he sang, yeah.”
The fact that “Because of You,” which was featured on Bennett’s 1952 debut album of the same name and helped establish his career, was his last song “represents a kind of balance,” Benedetto said.
“Well, of course, it bookends his career, if you think just musically speaking. That was his first hit. And then that was literally just the last song that he sang. So the music never left him,” she said.
She continued, “And when he did have more alert moments, or, like, first thing in the morning, he didn’t ask really about anyone or anything except, ‘Am I working tonight?’ And the other day he’s like, ‘Susan, am I in a good theater tonight?’ He’d say stuff like that.”
Bennett died in his hometown of New York City on July 21. He had been quietly living with Alzheimer’s disease since 2016 and throughout his career won 20 Grammy Awards.
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