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Tony Bennett to sing ‘Duets’ for birthday

Crooner to team with Bono, Paul McCartney for album of classic songs
/ Source: The Associated Press

Tony Bennett has recruited more than a dozen music heavyweights, including Bono, Paul McCartney and Barbra Streisand, to sing on his new album, "Tony Bennett: Duets/An American Classic."

The album of 18 songs, to be released Sept. 26, also features duets with Stevie Wonder, the Dixie Chicks, Elvis Costello, Billy Joel, Elton John, Diana Krall, Sting, George Michael, k.d. lang, James Taylor, Tim McGraw, John Legend, Juanes and Michael Buble.

Bennett, who will be 80 on Aug. 3, croons standards including "I Wanna Be Around" with Bono and personal favorites including "Smile" with Streisand and "The Very Thought of You" with McCartney.

"Each duet artist brought their own soul and sensibility to their song performance and it was a wonderful gift for my birthday to be able to record with these talented musicians," Bennett said in a statement.

He also performs a solo version of his signature song, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco," accompanied by pianist Bill Charlap.

In a statement Tuesday, Columbia Records Chairman Steve Barnett said, "It's an honor and a privilege to wish Tony a very happy 80th birthday and to thank him for giving us the gift of so much magic and so much music over the years."