Vic Damone, Famed Crooner, Dies at 89

Damone’s baritone voice earned him praise from legends like Frank Sinatra

Vic Damone, famed baritone crooner, died at a Miami Beach hospital at the age of 89, according to the Associated Press.

Damone’s singing career lasted over 50 years, with millions of records sold and work on classic films like the 1957 Cary Grant film, “An Affair to Remember,” on which Damone sang the titular theme. Like many of his contemporaries, he grew up idolizing Frank Sinatra, who once described Damone as having “the best pipes in the business.”

Along with “An Affair to Remember,” other hits by Damone include the single version of the song “On the Street Where You Live” from the musical “My Fair Lady.” His version hit No. 4 on the charts in 1956, while his 1949 recording of “You’re Breaking My Heart” hit No. 1 and stayed on the charts for six months. Damone became one of several crooners who dominated the charts in the 20 years following World War II, alongside the likes of Tony Bennett and Perry Como.

In the 1960s, Damone also hosted a hit NBC variety show called “The Lively Ones,” which featured jazz, pop and folk artists like Count Basie, Gene Krupa, Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie. In the ’70s, Damone was a mainstay on Las Vegas stages and continued to do so until 2002, when he was forced to retire due to a stroke. He released his final album that same year. But in 2011, he returned for a one-night-only performance in Palm Beach, which he said he decided to do so that his six grandchildren would have the chance to see him perform for the first time.