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Tony Bennett up for 19th Grammy; rare Friars Club honor

Tony Bennett, the legendary singer who is a frequent sell-out at the Ravinia Festival, is not only up for his 19th Grammy Award Monday night, but will be honored by New York’s famed Friar’s Club for entertainers, later this year.

Bennett, who will turn 90 in August, says he is “doing what I love and I’ll never retire. I’m going to sing and paint and try to get better and better! All I try to do when I perform is to make people happy.”

The crooner’s latest Grammy nomination is in the best traditional pop vocal album category, for his “The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern,” a Bennett favorite from great American songbook.

In June, Bennett will be only the sixth person in the Friar’s Club 112-year history to receive their highest honor: the Entertainment Icon Award. The previous five recipients truly make up a Who’s Who list: Frank Sinatra, Robert DeNiro, Cary Grant, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Tom Cruise.