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Tony Bennett's Memory 'Took a Turn for the Worse' Prior to Death at 96: 'Singing Made Him Feel Good'

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Jul. 21 2023, Published 9:22 a.m. ET

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Tony Bennett's memory was fleeting prior to his death at 96, according to a source.

The legendary singer, who turned 95 in August 2021, was all smiles during a sold-out performance at Radio City Hall with pal Lady Gaga. “Tony’s spirits are always lifted when he’s in front of an audience,” said an insider at the time. “That’s his natural setting.”

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At the time, the source noted the musician's memory had "taken a turn for the worse," but "singing made him feel good. It was part of his ongoing therapy."

He also loved to spend time with the "Poker Face" star, 37, whom he met at a benefit concert in 2011. “He lights up whenever he sees her,” said the insider. “She was so honored to walk him off stage for the last time.”

Part of Bennett's routine included being with his wife, Susan Benedetto, in their New York City apartment. “Tony spent his days mostly relaxing, listening to music, sitting and chatting with Susan, whom he adored,” the confidante spilled. “He wasn't the old active and talkative Tony, but he spoke to his children and grandchildren whenever he could."

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As OK! previously reported, Bennett, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016, died on Friday, July 21, in New York City.

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Two years ago, Crow spoke out about how Bennett's health was deteriorating quickly.

"He recognizes me, thank goodness, his children, you know we are blessed in a lot of ways," Benedetto said in a 60 Minutes interview. "He's very sweet."

"He doesn't know he has it," she added, referring to the horrible disease.

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Gaga also commented on her friend's diagnosis, explaining that Bennett continued to go on with his life and not let the disease affect him.

"It's not a sad story," she said. "It's emotional. It's hard to watch somebody change. I think what's been beautiful about this, and what's been challenging, is to see how it affects him in some ways, but to see how it doesn't affect his talent."

"I think he really pushed through something to give the world the gift of knowing that things can change and you can still be magnificent," she concluded.

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