Barack Obama pays tribute to Tony Bennett

Mark Seliger

Former President Barack Obama is among the long list of stars paying tribute to jazz singer Tony Bennett after he died on Friday, July 21, at age 96. 

“Tony Bennett was an iconic songwriter and entertainer who charmed generations of fans,” Obama wrote on Twitter. “He was also a good man—Michelle and I will always be honored that he performed at my inauguration. We’re thinking of his wife Susan, his kids, and everyone who is missing him today.”

Michelle shared her husband’s sentiment by retweeting the note.

Special messages poured in on social media Friday, including an Instagram post from Mariah Carey that read, “It was such an honor to work with one of the world’s most beloved, respected and legendary singers of the past century.”

A noted civil rights activist, Bennett supported the civil rights movement and marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965. As a humanitarian and philanthropist, Bennett was nicknamed “Tony Benefit” for his many charity appearances. He and his wife founded the charity Exploring the Arts, as well as the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, a public performing arts high school in Queens, New York.

Bennett, who passed away in his hometown of New York City, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016, but he didn’t reveal it until February 2021.

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