Singer Tony Bennett has announced he has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and that the diagnosis came four years ago.
Bennett, who is known for his iconic song “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” started showing signs of it in 2015, he told AARP magazine, CNN reported.
He shared the article on his Twitter feed.
Despite the diagnosis, Bennett, 94, said he continued to perform and that his doctors encouraged him to sing and play music to stimulate his brain. He also stuck to a special diet and exercise routine.
Before taking the stage, he has been confused about where he is at, but when the announcer would say, “Ladies and gentlemen — Tony Bennett!” his wife said he would become himself, the AARP story explained.
His wife, Susan Bennett, said she would worry during every show that he would forget a lyric. But he performed like his old self until his final public performance on March 11, AARP reported.
Tony Bennett’s mental accuracy has taken a hit since then as the coronavirus pandemic has prevented him from taking the stage.
“His memory prior to the pandemic was so much better. And he’s not alone. So many of my patients are negatively affected by the isolation, the inability to do the things that matter to them. For someone like Tony Bennett the big high he gets from performing was very important,” his neurologist, Dr. Gayatri Devi, told AARP.
It was so important to the singer that Devi told Tony Bennett to rehearse twice a week with his longtime pianist Lee Musiker, who will accompany him for his full 90-minute set, AARP reported.
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