Tony Bennett has retained his love of music in spite of his Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
The 94-year-old singer was diagnosed with the illness – which slowly destroys memory and thinking skills – in 2016, but Antonia Bennett, his daughter, insists he remains as passionate about music as he ever was.
Speaking about Tony’s frequent music rehearsals, she shared: «He has a piano player who comes over a couple of times a week and runs the show with him.
«The things he really loves to do are paint and sing, and he is still able to do those things, so that is a blessing.»
Despite his illness, Tony is also still determined to perform live.
Antonia told Closer magazine: «He has a very strong work ethic, even with Alzheimer’s. And he’s still asking his wife when he can go back on the road.»
Tony has been living in his New York apartment amid the coronavirus pandemic, and Antonia admitted that he’s been experiencing some good and bad days with his illness.
She said: «I talk to him all the time. Sometimes he is very, very lucid and he will recite poetry to me or share lyrics from a favourite song.
«Other days, the conversations are very limited. I often try to jog his memory. On good days, he remembers all of it. On bad, he still knows who I am and seems to be happy – and that’s the most important thing.»
Antonia began noticing her dad’s failing memory a few years ago, and in the beginning, his forgetfulness seemed like a relatively minor issue.
However, she admits that the situation has been changing «gradually» since his diagnosis.
The 46-year-old musician said: «He wasn’t really slowing down. The change in the beginning was just little things. It happened gradually.»