PICS: Tony Bennett at Pechanga Theater

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The singer is always a delight to see live and in person whenever his tours stop in San Diego -- and his Jan. 26 show was certainly no exception.
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A little history: The 93-year-old icon was born Anthony Dominick Benedetto on Aug. 3, 1926 in the Astoria neighborhood of New York City's Queens borough. In 2001, he gave back to his old neighborhood by founding the Frank Sinatra School of Arts high school, which boasts one of the highest graduation rates in NYC (roughly 97% of its 2009 senior class enrolled for college).
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Alex Matthews
Bennett is a well-known philanthropist -- he's been nicknamed "Tony Benefit" after all. Over the years, he's supported charities such as American Cancer Society, MusiCares, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, UNICEF, Cancer Research Institute, Neurofibromatosis, Inc. and more.
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He also might as well be nicknamed "Award Bennett" -- he's won 20 Grammy Awards (including a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001), two Emmy Awards, New York City's Bronze Medallion in 1969, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and was a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2005. (Tom Adair, pictured, on piano and Marshall Wood, pictured behind Tony, on bass)
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Paging Dr. Bennett: He also holds honorary doctorates from the Berklee College of Music, the Art Institute of Boston, George Washington University, the Juilliard School, the Cleveland Institute of Music and more.
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Harold Jones is Tony's longtime man behind the kit -- and Count Basie's favorite drummer to boot.
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Lest we forget, he's also musically prolific: Bennett has released more than 70 albums in his career -- almost all of them for Columbia Records. His 2014 duet album with Lada Gaga ("Cheek to Cheek") hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart on its release. In case you didn't know -- he's still got it!
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Bennett has charted more than 30 singles during his career, with first breakout hit being the No. 1 single, “Because of You,” in 1951.
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Gray Sargent plays guitar in Tony's band. He's played with Mr. Bennett longer than any other member in the current quartet.
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In 1963, he won his first Best Solo Vocal Performance, Male Grammy Award for “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” That memorable tune has fittingly become one of the city’s official songs -- and it's played after every San Francisco Giants baseball game victory.
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"I left my heart in San Diego..."
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A family affair: His daughter, Antonio Bennett -- a stellar vocalist in her own right and Berklee College of Music alumna -- also joins him on his tours.
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It's always a pleasure to have you in town, Tony -- please come back again soon!
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