Tony Bennett talked about his unique friendship with Frank Sinatra and the invaluable lessons his learned from him on The Tonight Show Monday. Fallon showed a picture of Bennett and Sinatra eating hotdogs while wearing tuxedos. Bennett said, “I was his favorite and he was my favorite … And I couldn’t get over it because he was a phenomenal artist, a beautiful singer and a great person.”
Bennett remembered first meeting Sinatra backstage at the Paramount following the success of “Because of You” and “Cold, Cold Heart.” But despite charting two Number Ones, Bennett was still nervous about performing live. “And [Sinatra] taught me, the audience are your friends, they come to see you,” Bennett said. “And he changed my whole psychology about, there’s no such thing as a bad audience. There’s a bad performance, but there’s not a bad audience.”
Bennett also showed off his still impeccable voice with a performance of the classic, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” The singer slowly moved through the song, building to an epic close that featured a stunning final belt.
Bennett will celebrate his 90th birthday, which was in August, with a concert special, Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best Is Yet to Come, that airs tonight, Tuesday, on NBC. The special boasts an array of guests including Lady Gaga, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and Billy Joel.