Tony Bennett’s 90th birthday celebration is going to be one for the ages.
NBC will air a two-hour special dedicated to the veteran musician in December, NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt announced Tuesday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour.
The program will feature some of the music industry’s most prominent artists, with the first list of performers to be announced including Andrea Bocelli, Michael Bublé, Aretha Franklin, Lady Gaga, Billy Joel, Elton John, Diana Krall, k.d. lang, Rufus Wainwright and Stevie Wonder as well as a performance by Bennett.
“Since we celebrated Tony’s 80th birthday on NBC, it only seemed fitting that we should also stop and pay tribute to his 90th, a true milestone for the greatest living vocalist of popular music,” Greenblatt said. “Happy birthday, Tony, your achievements are epic and your voice has been the soundtrack of four generations. We and the entire music business are in awe.”
Bennett is a musical legend and 19-time Grammy Award winner. His voluminous discography includes 57 studio albums, 11 live albums, 31 compilation albums and 81 singles, and he holds the industry record of being the oldest artist, at the age of 88, to place an album at number one on the Billboard Top 200 list.
Born in Astoria, Queens, N.Y., on Aug. 3, 1926, he has achieved unprecedented success as a recording artist.
“I turn 90 tomorrow and feel like I’m just getting started and look forward to each day,” Bennett said. “I have loved performing for the public and sharing the music I love with the world. It’s a thrill to have NBC air a special in honor of my birthday and to have so many wonderful artists that I have worked with and admire participate.”
Danny Bennett will serve as executive producer and TB TV, LLC will produce. Jerry Foley will direct with production and lighting design by LeRoy Bennett.
“Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best Is Yet to Come” will air on Dec. 20 at 9 p.m. ET.