The Recording Academy recently sat down with 14-time GRAMMY winner and Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Tony Bennett and his son/manager Danny Bennett for the inaugural installment of GRAMMY Industry Insider, an interview series with artists and industry professionals detailing the creative and business process behind their latest projects. Tony Bennett discussed his current GRAMMY-nominated album, Duets II, and how he met Lady Gaga, among other topics, while Danny Bennett discussed topics such as bringing various artists together to record Duets II and what it's like working as his father's manager.
"Everybody that hears [it] just loves the whole album," said Bennett of Duets II. "It's humorous because a lot of people in the business are saying they don't think it will ever happen again — that someone 85 years old [could reach] No. 1 on the Billboard charts."
"Our main intention was to create something that continued the tradition of excellence and integrity that Tony has come to represent," added Danny Bennett.
With a career spanning nearly six decades, Tony Bennett is one of the most popular recording artists of the 21st century. With 14 wins already to his name, Bennett has two GRAMMY nominations for the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards: Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for Duets II and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for "Body And Soul" with the late Amy Winehouse.
Duets II is the follow-up album to 2006's Duets: An American Classic, which featured Bennett teaming with artists such as U2's Bono, Celine Dion, Elton John, k.d. lang, Paul McCartney, Barbra Streisand, and Stevie Wonder, among others. The album peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and earned Bennett two GRAMMY Awards in 2006, Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals for "For Once In My Life" with Wonder and Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. Artists featured on Duets II include Andrea Bocelli, Natalie Cole, Sheryl Crow, Josh Groban, Lady Gaga, John Mayer, Queen Latifah, Carrie Underwood, and Winehouse, among others. In September Duets II debuted atop the Billboard 200, making Bennett the oldest living artist to top the chart.
Bennett's first GRAMMY win came in 1962 for Record Of The Year for "I Left My Heart In San Francisco." Should Bennett earn a GRAMMY at the 54th GRAMMY Awards in February, he will hold the longest span of GRAMMY wins in the history of the awards.
Serving as his father's manager for nearly 30 years, Danny Bennett has executive produced several of Tony Bennett's albums, including Duets: An American Classic and Duets II, among others. He earned a GRAMMY nomination in 1998 for Best Musical Album For Children for producing Tony Bennett's The Playground.