NEW YORK, Feb. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony Music Entertainment will release TONY BENNETT DUETS II: The Great Performances on DVD on March 6th which is a stunning companion to the singer's celebrated DUETS II CD (on RPM/Columbia Records), which has been nominated for three Grammy Awards. DUETS II made music history when it debuted at the top of the Billboard Album charts, making Bennett the oldest vocal artist ever to achieve the number one spot. TONY BENNETT DUETS II: The Great Performances reveals the behind the scenes process of the recording highlighted by beautifully filmed full-length videos of the song performances. The critically acclaimed album was released in September 2011 in honor of Bennett's 85th birthday and features the singer's greatest hits, performed by Bennett and today's biggest stars, including John Mayer, Michael Buble, k.d. lang, Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson, Queen Latifah, Norah Jones, Josh Groban, Faith Hill, Alejandro Sanz, and Carrie Underwood, and more. The DVD features special bonus content including video birthday wishes and a gallery of personally inscribed and signed sheet music from the duet guests.
TONY BENNETT DUETS II: The Great Performances can be pre-ordered now exclusively through Amazon.com. Bennett will be appearing on the Jimmy Kimmel Show on February 9 and The Talk on February 10 (featuring a duet performance with k.d. lang of "Blue Velvet" from the DUETS II CD).
Recently nominated for three Grammys, including Best Traditional Pop Vocal, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, and Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s), the critically acclaimed album DUETS II received kudos from all quarters. The Wall Street Journal noted that the singer was "...constantly reaffirming his position as pop music's greatest living patriarch."
The Recording Academy just announced that Bennett will perform with Carrie Underwood on the Grammy Awards on Feb. 12. Carrie Underwood joined Tony on his #1 CD, DUETS II, for a recording of the 1920's popular standard "It Had To Be You." Bennett's first Grammy win came in 1962 for his signature song, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco," which marks its 50th anniversary this year for its recording and release. Bennett holds the longest span of Grammy nominations in the history of the awards. Tony Bennett will also be performing at the MusiCares tribute dinner honoring Paul McCartney on February 10.
DUETS II took over six months to record with each track recorded face-to-face with his singing partners in studios around the world, from LA to Nashville to London. Among the many highlights is Amy Winehouse's last recorded track ('Body and Soul'), which was produced in London's famous Abbey Road Studios in March. Other tracks were recorded in New York in late July: the Richard Rodgers-Lorenz Hart classic, "The Lady Is A Tramp" with Lady Gaga, and the Alan and Marilyn Bergman classic, "How Do You Keep The Music Playing," with Aretha Franklin, and "Stranger in Paradise" with Andrea Bocelli, recorded at the singer's Italian home. The DVD is highlighted by insights on the process from the performers, making for an up-close look at one of 2011's most celebrated recordings. The sessions were filmed by Oscar-winning cinematographer Dion Beebe ("Chicago," "Memoirs of a Geisha," "Collateral"), providing a personal, behind-the-scenes look at Bennett's latest collaborations and his artistic approach with each song.
TONY BENNETT DUETS II: The Great Performances DVD features the following video listing:
"The Lady is a Tramp" (Lady Gaga)
"One for My Baby (And One More for the Road) (John Mayer)
"Body and Soul" (Amy Whitehouse)
"Don't Get Around Much Anymore" (Michael Buble)
"Blue Velvet" (k.d. lang)
"How Do You Keep the Music Playing" (Aretha Franklin)
"The Girl I Love" (Sheryl Crow)
"On the Sunny Side of the Street" (Willie Nelson)
"Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me) (Queen Latifah)
"Speak Low" (Norah Jones)
"This Is All I Ask" (Josh Groban)
"Watch What Happens" (Natalie Cole)
"Stranger in Paradise" (Andrea Bocelli)
"The Way You Look Tonight" (Faith Hill)
"Yesterday I Heard the Rain" (Alejandro Sanz)
"It Had to Be You" (Carrie Underwood)
About Tony Bennett:
Entering his seventh decade as a recording artist with over 100 albums and 15 Grammy Awards including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Bennett has earned his legendary status many times over. He remains the Columbia recording artist with the greatest longevity at the label. His 2007 prime-time special, "Tony Bennett: An American Classic," won seven Emmy Awards and was directed by Academy Award winner Rob Marshall. He has performed for 10 US Presidents, from Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr, Clinton, Bush Jr. and Obama. He also worked with and marched alongside Martin Luther King in his 1965 civil rights march and was honored with the Martin Luther King's Salute to Greatness Award. In addition to performing, he is a visual artist as well, with three of his original paintings featured in the permanent collection at the Smithsonian, including his portraits of Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington. His humanitarian efforts are renowned and the United Nations honored him with their Humanitarian Award in 2007. He has published three books – his autobiography, "The Good Life," and two books of his paintings, "Tony Bennett: What My Heart Has Seen," and "Tony Bennett In the Studio: A Life of Art and Music." Bennett founded, in association with the Department of Education in New York City, the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts – a public arts high school in his hometown of Astoria, Queens. With his wife Susan, he established Exploring the Arts, a charitable organization which supports arts education in NYC public high schools. Exploring the Arts supports 14 public high schools throughout New York City.
SOURCE RPM/Columbia Records