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‘Life is a gift — even with Alzheimer’s.’ Tony Bennett opens up about his condition

FILE - Singer Tony Bennett performs at the Statue of Liberty Museum opening celebration in New York on May 15, 2019. Bennett has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease but the diagnosis hasn’t quieted his legendary voice. The singer’s wife and son reveal in the latest edition of AARP The Magazine that Bennett was first diagnosed in 2016. The magazine says he endures “increasingly rarer moments of clarity and awareness.” (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

FILE – Singer Tony Bennett performs on the Statue of Liberty Museum opening celebration in New York on May 15, 2019. Bennett has been recognized with Alzheimer’s illness however the prognosis hasn’t quieted his legendary voice. The singer’s spouse and son reveal within the newest version of AARP The Magazine that Bennett was first recognized in 2016. The journal says he endures “increasingly rarer moments of clarity and awareness.” (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Legendary musician Tony Bennett revealed Monday he has Alzheimer’s and has been battling the illness since 2016.

“Life is a gift — even with Alzheimer’s,” Bennett tweeted Monday morning whereas posting an AARP article about his condition.

Even with Alzheimer’s affecting his short-term and long-term well being, Bennett continues to sing. He and Lady Gaga have recorded the follow-up to their 2014 duet album, “Cheek to Cheek,” and will probably be launched this spring, in line with AARP.

Gaga was conscious of Bennett’s condition whereas they recorded the album over the course of two years.

“The pain and sadness in Gaga’s face is clear at such moments — but never more so than in an extraordinarily moving sequence in which Tony (a man she calls “an incredible mentor, and friend, and father figure”) sings a solo passage of a love music,” the article states. “Gaga looks on, from behind her mic, her smile breaking into a quiver, her eyes brimming, before she puts her hands over her face and sobs.”

Bennett’s spouse, Susan Benedetto, instructed CBS News her husband is not in any ache and he nonetheless remembers her and their children.

He additionally nonetheless remembers Gaga, who Benedetto mentioned “is hard to forget.”

“He gets frustrated. And he doesn’t like being frustrated,” Benedetto mentioned. “He doesn’t like being confused. But none of the real negative things.”

Alzheimer’s — which doesn’t have a identified remedy — results in reminiscence loss over time, in line with the Alzheimer’s Association. People with extreme circumstances might lose their capacity to hold conversations or reply to their setting.

In 2014, there have been as many as 5 million Americans with Alzheimer’s, in line with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Bennett’s neurologist, Dr. Gayatri Devi at Manhattan’s Lenox Hill Hospital, mentioned performing stimulated his mind. But because the COVID-19 pandemic shut down dwell music, she mentioned, it led to the long-lasting crooner’s reminiscence weakening.

Music stimulates areas of the mind accountable for reminiscence, motion and temper, in line with a 2020 report from the Global Council on Brain Health.

Music has been a remedy for Bennett, who has gained 19 Grammy Awards in a profession spanning greater than 70 years. His spouse mentioned he sings for an hour to 75 minutes twice a week and doesn’t want cue playing cards.

“He’s devoted his whole life to the great American song book,” she instructed CBS News. “And now, the song book is saving him.”

Devi mentioned Bennett “really is the symbol of hope for someone with a cognitive disorder,” in line with AARP.

His final public efficiency was in March on the Count Basie Center for the Arts in New Jersey.

Mike Stunson covers real-time information for McClatchy. He is a 2011 Western Kentucky University graduate who has beforehand labored on the Paducah Sun and Madisonville Messenger as a sports activities reporter and the Lexington Herald-Leader as a breaking information reporter.
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