James Taylor remembers Tony Bennett: “a bright light in our world”

Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

James Taylor is the latest artist to remember the late Tony Bennettposting a lengthy tribute to the legendary crooner, who passed away July 21 at the age of 96.

Taylor noted seeing Bennett on the children’s show Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, writing, “he was basically explaining what his job was to the children who were the show’s audience. It was a straight-ahead presentation of a working jazz musician, a description of himself that was simple and honest.” 

“Tony was such a bright light in our world and the longevity of his career gave him a depth, a gravitas that tied together two main generations of contemporary, popular music, Frank Sinatra to Stevie Wonder,” Taylor shares. “I never met a more believably positive person. He radiated his love of being alive. You never got a whiff of sarcasm or cynicism.”

Taylor recalls telling Bennett he was a fan of his music and of them working together over the years, including on Bennett’s Duets album, calling it “a high point for me.”

Finally, he notes, “Whenever I wonder just how long I should carry on touring and performing in public, I think of his example: Tony Bennett, the greatest last man standing…”

Also remembering Bennett over the weekend was Paul McCartneywho called him a “special singer and a good friend.” “I was privileged to work with him on a few occasions and he was always a wonder to behold,” Sir Paul added. “Thanks Tony for the joy you brought to our world.”

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