Tony Bennett’s wife, Susan Benedetto, is speaking out for the first time since the legendary singer’s death at the age of 96.
A statement shared on Bennett’s Instagram read, “Thank you to all the fans, friends and colleagues of Tony’s who celebrated his life and humanity and shared their love of him and his musical legacy.
“From his first performances as a singing waiter in Queens to his last performances in 2021 at Radio City Music Hall, Tony delighted in performing the songs he loved and making people happy. And as sad as today has been for all of us we can find joy in Tony’s legacy forever.”
The “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” crooner died in his native New York City earlier Friday, a scant two weeks before his 97th birthday.
In the late ’80s, the Grammy winner began a long-term relationship with Benedetto
They finally tied the knot decades later in 2007 in a private civil ceremony.
In his 2016 memoir, “Just Getting Started,” Bennett admitted that his and Benedetto’s 40-year age gap had been a sticking point at first but then melted away.
“Susan Benedetto has shown me how love gives you the confidence and courage to be your best self, and the inner peace and contentment that come with them,” he wrote.
In 2001, they founded a performing arts high school in Queens, N.Y., named after Bennett’s longtime pal Frank Sinatra.
In a 2021 interview with AARP Magazine, Benedetto revealed that the “Rags to Riches” singer had been battling Alzheimer’s disease.
Tony Bennett’s ‘sad’ wife speaks out after singer’s death. Tony Bennett’s ‘sad’ wife speaks out after singer’s death