It’s true, the best is yet to come for Tony Bennett.
On Monday, Bennett appeared on Jimmy Fallon’s “The Tonight Show” just ahead of his all-out birthday bash, “Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best Is Yet to Come" on NBC.
The 19-time Grammy Award winner, who walked onto the “Tonight Show” stage to a standing ovation, talked seemingly casually with Fallon about all his “pals” who will perform on his TV special Tuesday.
U.S. & World
The day's top national and international news.
But there’s nothing casual about the lineup.
The TV concert includes appearances from some of the best in music business: Billy Joel, Bob Dylan, Lady Gaga, Elton John, Paul McCartney and many more.
Alec Baldwin will host the show — as Tony Bennett.
When asked about Baldwin’s notorious impersonation of him, Bennett replied, “It’s pretty good.”
“Tony Bennett Celebrates 90” is a long way from where the famed singer started. After fighting in World War II, Bennett got his big break in 1951 when “Because of You” reached no. 1 on the Billboard chart. The crooner went on to have many more hits, including “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” and “Rags to Riches.”
Bennett credits a lot of his success to fellow singer Frank Sinatra, not only because “Cold Cold Heart” and “Because of You,” Bennett’s first two major hits, were originally Sinatra hits, but because the seasoned performer had given newcomer Bennett some great advice.
Early in his career, Bennett was nervous about playing in New York's Paramount Theater, which seats thousands. Sinatra, also booked at the venue, calmed Bennett’s nerves.
“He taught me that the audience are your friends,” the legendary singer told Fallon. “They come to see you. [Sinatra] changed my whole psychology about it.”
“He was a phenomenal artist, beautiful singer and a great person,” Bennett said.
Bennett will continue to honor the "beautiful singer" when he performs some of Sinatra's beloved tunes on Tuesday night. And if Bennett’s concluding performance on “The Tonight Show” is any indication of how the birthday special will go, his ever-steady voice is sure to resonate within Radio City.
“Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best Is Yet to Come” airs on NBC Dec. 20, at 9 p.m. ET.