Tony Bennett is not aware he has Alzheimer’s disease.
The 95-year-old’s wife, Susan Crow, has broken her silence on her husband’s battle with the illness, revealing he is not aware he is suffering and has moments where he is “more alert.”
In an interview with Anderson Cooper on CBS News’ 60 Minutes, Susan said: “Every day is different. Tony late at night, sometimes early in the morning, he’s more alert, if I can use that word.
“So, I’ll tell him, ‘Tone, you’re gonna be on 60 Minutes.’ He’s, like, ‘Great.’
“I said, ‘You remember that show, 60 Minutes, he’s, like, ‘I do.’ But in any other given moment, he won’t know.”
She then said: “He recognises me, thank goodness, his children you know, we are blessed in a lotta ways. He’s very sweet. He doesn’t know he has it.”
Anderson clarified: “He doesn’t know he has it?” to which Susan confirmed: “No.”
“What he does know is that he’s at home, not performing on stage. He’d continued to sing after his diagnosis, but the pandemic took him off the road. Susan says it’s been hard on him.”
The singer was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2016, and recently retired from performing. He also just released his final album, Love for Sale, a collaborative LP with Lady Gaga, last week.
“It was Gayatri Devi, our doctor, who said, ‘If he wants to sing let him sing, because that’s the best thing for him.'” Susan recalled. “You know, all the meds and all the treatments they do to stimulate your brain, for him, there’s nothing more stimulating than performing.”
But as time waned on, it was also Susan who urged Tony to stop performing.
His son and manager Danny Bennett previously explained: “His continued health is the most important part of this, and when we heard the doctors – when Tony’s wife, Susan heard them – she said, ‘Absolutely not.’
“He’ll be doing other things, but not those upcoming shows. It’s not the singing aspect but, rather, the traveling. Look, he gets tired. The decision is being made that doing concerts now is just too much for him.”
“We don’t want him to fall on stage, for instance – something as simple as that.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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