Tony Bennett, masterful stylist of American musical standards, dies at 96

NEW YORK (AP) — Tony Bennett, the eminent stylist and last of the great saloon singers whose devotion to classic American songs and knack for creating new standards such as “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” graced a decadeslong career, has died at 96.

His publicist said he died Friday. Bennett often said his lifelong ambition was to create “a hit catalog rather than hit records,” which he accomplished through more than 70 albums.

Bennett was praised often by fellow performers, but never more meaningfully than by what Frank Sinatra said in a 1965 Life magazine interview: “For my money, Tony Bennett is the best singer in the business.