TONY BENNETT: DUETS/An American Classic Enters Billboard Top 200 at #3

Legendary Singer Celebrates His 80th Birthday With His Highest-Debuting and Highest-Peaking Album


Tony Bennett fans have given the legendary performer his biggest 80th birthday present to-date as the singer's new album, TONY BENNETT: DUETS/An American Classic, enters the Billboard Top 200 album chart at #3, with first week's sales of 201,536. Tony's recent debut in the Top 5 marks the singer's highest-debuting and highest-peaking album in the history of the Billboard Top 200.

In addition, the TONY BENNETT: DUETS/An American Classic CD held #1 positioning at Target, Starbucks, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Borders and was #3 on iTunes.

Released on September 26, TONY BENNETT: DUETS/An American Classic (RPM Records/Columbia Records) reprises some of the best-loved songs in Tony's repertoire as duets performed with some of the top names in contemporary music: Bono, Michael Buble, Elvis Costello, Celine Dion, Dixie Chicks, Billy Joel, Elton John, Juanes, Diana Krall, k.d. lang, John Legend, Paul McCartney, Tim McGraw, George Michael, Sting, Barbra Streisand, James Taylor and Stevie Wonder.

"For Tony Bennett to have his highest charting debut ever is an incredible tribute to an incomparable American singer on his 80th birthday," said Steve Barnett, Chairman, Columbia Records. "Columbia Records is honored to be part of Tony Bennett's music and enduring artistic legacy."

Danny Bennett, Tony's son and manager, commented, "This overwhelming response is something that Tony and I both view as confirmation that the music of the Great American Songbook -- which Tony has championed with such passion and dedication throughout his career -- has a far-reaching and enthusiastic audience. The fact that Tony recorded the songs live with such an incredible array of artists created a unique focus for this fantastic project."

The promotional and marketing campaign for TONY BENNETT: DUETS/An American Classic kicked off with a star-studded party, hosted by Target, for Tony's 80th birthday on August 3rd. The album's first single, "Just in Time," featuring Tony Bennett and Michael Buble, was released on Tony's birthday, has received significant airplay from many AC stations around the country while charting in the Top 25. The CD was launched with a direct response TV marketing ad campaign; advertising on TV, radio, print and on-line; and an aggressive retail presence with multiple point-of-purchase items, along with a variety of contests and promotions. Target, a key sponsor of the campaign, has offered the CD, with exclusive bonus duet tracks as well as a "making of" video, in their stores, all supported by an extensive national TV and print ad campaign. Starbucks, Yahoo, Amazon and iTunes have all partnered as well, with print advertising and a variety of on-line promotions and added value items.

Recent appearances on NBC's "Today" show (where Bennett performed with Billy Joel the Friday before the album's release date and with Michael Buble the day after the album's release) and CBS's "Late Show With David Letterman" (where Tony was joined by Elvis Costello) fueled CD sales as did print features in a variety of major publications including "Time," "Parade," "USA Today," "The New York Times," and "The Wall Street Journal."

The celebration of Tony Bennett's 80th birthday and the success of TONY BENNETT: DUETS/An American Classic will continue on November 21 with the broadcast of "Tony Bennett: An American Classic," an NBC-TV prime-time special, presented by Target. "Tony Bennett: An American Classic" is directed by Rob Marshall ("Chicago" and "Memoirs of a Geisha") and his Oscar winning team and features Tony performing with Christina Aguilera, Michael Buble, John Legend, Elton John, Juanes, Diana Krall, k.d. lang, Barbra Streisand and Stevie Wonder. Each musical segment includes choreography, dancers, and stunning set designs. Narrative introductions on Tony's career were contributed by Billy Crystal, Robert DeNiro, Catherine Zeta-Jones, John Travolta and Bruce Willis.

Other special events surrounding Tony's 80th birthday include an all-star tribute to Tony hosted by Paul Newman, Billy Crystal, George Clooney and Bruce Willis to be held on November 9th at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles as a benefit for Newman's Hole in the Wall Gang camp program.

In addition, Tony Bennett will receive this year's Billboard Century Award, in honor of his outstanding musical achievements, during a live presentation to be broadcast on the FOX network on December 4th from Las Vegas.

SOURCE: RPM/Columbia Records

CONTACT: Fran DeFeo, Columbia Records, Media, New York, +1-212-833-5784,; or Sylvia Weiner, +1-908-301-1779,

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