Amid pop’s revolutions, Tony Bennett was a steady, classy constant

He had ups and downs both professional and personal, but by rejecting fashion and forging ahead with his jazz-informed, after-hours style, Bennett remained hugely admired

Over the course of Tony Bennett’s 71-year career, pop music changed beyond recognition. At one end of it, his first No 1 single Because Of You was displaced from the top of the US charts by his second No 1 single, a cover of Cold Cold Heart by Hank Williams, then not a mythic, long-lost figure – the fabled King of Country – but still very much alive and recording. At the other, he released an album of duets with Lady Gaga.

But Tony Bennett didn’t change, or at least not much: his career was an object lesson in the virtues of standing still, of knowing where your talent lay and trusting that it was strong enough to transcend the vagaries of fashion.

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