Elvis Presley wowed millions of fans around the world – but not everyone could be convinced.
One music industry titan went on to heavily criticize the King for his music’s style. Tony Bennett, who turned 96-years-old this week on August 3, 2022, was previously asked about Elvis and his impact on the music industry. In particular, he was quizzed over the comparisons between Elvis and Frank Sinatra, another singing heavyweight.
Tony is best known as one of the most iconic American singers of all time. He performed pop standards and utilised big bands, show tunes and jazz throughout his decades-long career. To date, he has won more than 20 Grammy Awards.
But when he was speaking about Elvis and Sinatra, he didn’t think the two could be spoken about together.
“You can’t compare them,” Tony revealed. “Presley is country music, white music. Jazz is Black music – it was invented by [Black people] in New Orleans.”
He added: “I’m really a jazz singer,” before delivering some criticism to the King of Rock and Roll.
Tony confessed: “I was impressed with Elvis – he was the handsomest guy I ever met in my life, and a very nice person, too – but the music doesn’t impress me.”
Considering Elvis has reportedly sold more than 1 billion albums to date, that is quite the opinion to have of the superstar.
Despite his opinions on Elvis’ music, Tony did later go on to praise the singer.
Over the years, Tony has worked with some massive pop talents. One of his favorites was British star, Amy Winehouse.
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Tony has released two collaborative albums with the pop sensation Lady Gaga.
The pair recorded some classic jazz tracks on the albums together.
Speaking of Gaga’s talent, Tony said: “The minute I heard [Lady Gaga] sing, I knew that she really knows how to sing.”
He then added: “My first reaction to her is that she’s going to be bigger than Elvis Presley throughout her life. She’s going to be around forever.”
In February 2021, Tony announced he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease back in 2016.
His illness progressed slowly, so he continued to perform and tour until he hit some physical challenges.
In August 2021 he announced his retirement from concert performances.