Tony Bennett said ‘living longer’ was down to 40-year age gap with wife Susan

Tony Bennett performs at London Palladium in 2011

American singer Tony Bennett once said his third wife Susan Crow helped him “live well” and “longer”.

The couple met at one of his concerts during the late 1980s, when she requested to go backstage and meet him.

On that same evening, a romance began to blossom between the pair when he asked her out.

The musician recalled their first meeting: “It tickled me that someone of her age – she was 19 at the time – was so devoted to my music, so I not only agreed to meet her but asked her to be my date for the evening. That’s how it all began.”

At first, Tony said the pair did notice their 40-year age gap but that they later grew to be “compatible”.

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Speaking to The Guardian in 2017, he added: “We barely notice it now.

“We’re compatible in so many ways and share the same interests.”

The 20-time Grammy winner went on to say his wife was a “wise” and “mature character” who “brought balance and contentment” to his life.

“Her goodness has helped me think straight, live well and, I’m quite certain, live longer,” he added.

The couple tied the knot back in 2007 at a private ceremony in New York.

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They have no children together, but Tony has two sons from his first marriage to Patricia Beech and two daughers with his second wife Sandra Grant Bennett.

Susan, a former teacher, became Tony’s primary carer following his Alzheimer’s diagnosis in 2016.

She and his family didn’t speak publicly about his diagnosis until 2021, when he was 94.

At that time, Susan said he was “doing so many things” at his age “that many people without dementia cannot do”.

She added to AARP The Magazine: “He really is the symbol of hope for someone with a cognitive disorder.”

In October the same year, the singer’s wife said he didn’t know he had Alzheimer’s and thankfully still knew who she and his children were.

Tony Bennett died at their home in Manhattan on July 21, two weeks before his 97th birthday.

Tonight, fans can re-watch one of his most memorable performances from 2011.

Tony Bennett at the London Palladium: BBC Sessions airs at 9pm on BBC Two.

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