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Vic Damone, Famous Crooner Hailed by Sinatra, Dies at 89
The man Frank Sinatra described as having the "best pipes in the business," singer and entertainer Vic Damone passed away on Feb. 11 in Miami Beach, Fla. Damone was 89.
After winning a talent contest in 1947 at age 19, the baritone-voiced and magnetically charismatic Damone released several singles on Mercury Records before landing his first big hits in 1949 with "Again," followed by "You're Breaking My Heart," and launched into the 1950s with the Top 5 hit, "My Heart Cries For You."
Damone was not only a successful recording artist in his heyday, he was also a heartthrob of the silver screen, signing a film contract in the early '50s that would lead to two movie appearances before he was drafted into the military, serving through 1953. Mercury continued to release Damone's music during his tour of duty and the singles such as "Here In My Heart" and "April In Portugal" continued to break into the Top 10 on the charts.
Once back from his service, Damone appeared on television and in several films. In 1956, he released what would become one of his signature songs, the Lerner & Lowe-penned "On The Street Where You Live" from My Fair Lady, which jumped to No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart.
After moving to RCA in the late 1960s, Damone continued to release some of his most heartfelt and successful recordings, while also enjoying success as both a TV personality and a touring artist. In all, Damone recorded over 2,000 songs, and in 1997 was inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame and also given the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award.
Damone gave his final performance in 2011 at the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in Palm Beach, Fla. He is survived by two sisters, three daughters, and six grandchildren. Damone's lasting contributions to American entertainment and his impact on pop music will survive long after his death.