“Susan, Widow of Tony Bennett, Fondly Recalls His ‘Wonderful Soul’ (and Passion for Pasta) Following His Passing”

“Tony Bennett’s Widow, Susan Benedetto, Fondly Recalls Their Pasta-Filled Days as He Painted Away”

Tony Bennett poses with his wife Susan at the Statue Of Liberty Museum Opening Celebration on May 15, 2019. PHOTO: KEVIN MAZUR/GETTY

“Tony Bennett’s Widow, Susan Benedetto, Cherishes Memories of His ‘Wonderful Soul’ and Time Spent in Italy”

In the wake of the passing of the legendary pop and jazz vocalist at the age of 96, Susan Benedetto, Tony Bennett’s widow, shares an exclusive photo with PEOPLE and reflects on their cherished moments together in Italy during their 16 years of marriage and decades as a couple.

Benedetto presents a heartfelt image of her late husband gazing out of a window, taken during their honeymoon in 2007 at Villa San Michele in Florence. She writes, “This is one of my favorite personal photos of Tony taken during our honeymoon in 2007 in Villa San Michele, in Florence. Tony, naturally, loved visiting his ancestral homeland, and we spent many summers in Italy over the years, and it was always a special time for us to be together, just the two of us.”

During their time in Italy, Tony would devote his days to painting, another passion of his, while the couple would relish in the simple joy of sharing meals together, especially pasta, which held a special place in his heart. Susan affectionately expresses her admiration for his thoughtful demeanor captured in the photo, emphasizing that besides being renowned for his musical talent, Tony possessed a wonderful soul.

“Benedetto, his family name, which I made my own when we married, means ‘the blessed one,’ and I was most certainly blessed to have Tony in my life,” she lovingly concludes, honoring the deep connection they shared throughout their time together.

Tony Bennett stares out a window in Italy during his 2007 honeymoon with Susan Benedetto. PHOTO: COURTESY OF SUSAN BENEDETTO 

Earlier this week, Susan Benedetto, Tony Bennett’s widow, along with his son Danny Bennett, expressed heartfelt gratitude to all the fans, friends, and colleagues who celebrated Tony’s life, humanity, and musical legacy. They were deeply moved by the outpouring of love and appreciation from all who cherished his work.

The statement highlighted Tony’s lifelong passion for performing, from his early days as a singing waiter in Queens to his final shows in 2021 at Radio City Music Hall. He found immense joy in singing the songs he loved and bringing happiness to people through his music. While the day of his passing was undoubtedly sorrowful, they took comfort in knowing that Tony’s legacy would bring joy to people forever.

Bennett and Benedetto first crossed paths in the late 1980s after one of Tony’s concerts and shared more than two decades together before tying the knot in an intimate ceremony in 2007.

Tony Bennett’s representative confirmed his passing to PEOPLE on Friday, stating that the beloved singer, born Anthony Dominick Benedetto in Astoria, Queens, on August 3, 1926, passed away at the age of 96 in his hometown of New York City. Tony had been bravely facing Alzheimer’s Disease since 2016. He is survived by his loving wife, Susan Benedetto, his two sons, Danny and Dae Bennett, his daughters Johanna Bennett and Antonia Bennett, and nine grandchildren.

The world mourns the loss of a musical icon, but his legacy will forever resonate through his timeless music and the joy he brought to countless hearts.

Following the news of Tony Bennett’s passing on Friday, an outpouring of tributes has come forth from fans and friends of the legendary vocalist. Notable figures such as Nile Rodgers, Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Rev. Jesse Jackson have taken to social media to express their condolences and admiration for the singer.

Rev. Jesse Jackson shared his prayers and heartfelt condolences for Tony Bennett’s family on Twitter. He highlighted the remarkable span of Bennett’s legendary career, which encompassed an impressive seven decades. Jackson also paid tribute to Bennett’s commitment to civil and human rights, as well as his dedication to the arts. He fondly recalled Bennett’s involvement in the Civil Rights Movement in 1964, expressing gratitude for the lasting impact he had made. Concluding his tribute, Jackson emphasized that Tony Bennett’s memory would endure as long as people remembered him, referring to the singer’s timeless legacy. He also referenced one of Bennett’s iconic songs, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” further honoring his contribution to the world of music and the emotions he evoked through his performances.