Tony Bennett's Wife Susan Benedetto Reveals the Last Words He Spoke to Her

The late singer's widow and son sit down for an interview on what would've been his 97th birthday.

Tony Bennett's widow, Susan Benedetto, is honoring her late husband on what would have been his 97th birthday, Aug. 3, speaking out on his life and legacy in an interview on Today.

Bennett died on July 21 in his hometown of New York City. While no specific cause of death has been announced, the music legend had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2016, sharing the news with the public in 2021.

In a sit-down chat with Hoda Kotb on Thursday, Susan was joined by one of Tony's four children, Danny, and revealed the moving final words that he said to her. 

"That he loved me," she shared. "Yeah. He would wake up every day and still say that. He woke up happy every day. Even if he had had a bad day or night, he didn’t remember it. That was the only blessing. He woke up happy. And he’s just like, 'Susan. You’re the best thing that ever happened to me.' And he would say that to me all the time."

Susan and Tony were together for more than 20 years before marrying in 2007. Susan took on her husband's legal surname, Benedetto, rather than his stage name. 

In his 2016 memoir, Just Getting Started, Tony revealed that his first encounter with Susan occurred when her parents attended one of his 1966 performances in New York City and joined the singer for a photo op backstage. Susan's mother was pregnant with her at the time. 

Susan went on to meet Tony -- 40 years her senior -- in person at one of his shows in 1985 when she was 19 years old and serving as the president of a local fan club for the musician.

"It tickled me that someone of her age was so devoted to my music," Tony penned in his memoir. "I not only agreed to say hello to her backstage but asked her to be my date for the evening, and that's how it all really began, foreshadowed by a backstage photo taken in 1966!"

Susan, now 56, opened up about the age gap between them in her new interview. 

"He performed to everybody," she said. "He never saw generation gaps or anything and, so, privately we didn't either. We just absolutely loved each other and he was my life."

In his final years, Susan said Tony remained devoted to his music. A few days before his death, the legendary crooner was at the piano singing "Because of You." It would be the last song he ever performed. 

"We were getting him up to exercise, and so it was easy to just latch onto the piano," she said. "And I said, ‘Ton, why don’t you get up and you can sing?’ You know, any excuse to just get him up. I said, ‘Why don’t you sing?’ He’s like, ‘What do you want to hear?’ I said, ‘How about singing 'Because of You'?' So he sang 'Because of You.'"

The song was Tony's first No. 1 hit and featured on his 1952 debut album. 

"Well, of course, it bookends his career, if you think just musically speaking. That was his first hit. And then that was literally just the last song that he sang. So the music never left him," Susan mused.

"And when he did have more alert moments, or, like, first thing in the morning, he didn’t ask really about anyone or anything except, 'Am I working tonight?' And the other day he’s like, 'Susan, am I in a good theater tonight?' He’d say stuff like that," she shared. 

Danny spoke to the incredible outpouring of tributes his father has received in the wake of his death, calling him "a man of the people."

"It's coming from every sector," he said of the support, "whether it's music or art or the cab driver on the street and the hot dog guy. It was an amazing journey."

He also shared the final words his father spoke to him: "Thank you." 

"Can’t say it better than that," he added.

The beloved star is survived by Susan, his two sons, Danny and Dae Bennett, his daughters, Johanna Bennett and Antonia Bennett, and nine grandchildren.