EXCL: Upbeat Tony Bennett is wheeled around by a male nurse in Central Park weeks before he turns 96

An upbeat Tony Bennett was seen enjoying Manhattan’s hot summer while he was wheeled around Central Park by a male nurse just weeks before turning 96. 

The iconic singer, who turns 96 in less than a month, was seen smiling and waving as he was rolled around NYC in a wheelchair on Friday. 

Last year, the city celebrated Tony Bennett Day on August 3 – his birthday – for the first time, marking the musician’s contributions to music and the arts.  

The dashing friend of Lady Gaga was seen wearing pristine white sneakers, a pair of comfy Adidas sweats with the famous red stripes down the side, and a sky blue Nike polo shirt with a matching black zip-up jacket. 

His nurse seemed just as happy to be out and about in the sunny city as he smiled as Bennett waved to diners inside a restaurant they walked past. 

They were also seen enjoying the vast greenery in the famous park. The Queens-born entertainer has lived most of his life in New York City, and calls home an expansive penthouse overlooking Central Park. He moved to his apartment on Central Park South 25 years ago to be closer to it.

For his 95th birthday, Sony Music Entertainment – which owns Bennett’s label Columbia Records – honored him with a bench in the park with his name on it. The bench is located east of Center Drive near Central Park South and Sixth Avenue, near where he lives. 

Singer Tony Bennett, 95, waved to diners in a restaurant as he passed by during his stroll on Friday in New York City

Singer Tony Bennett, 95, waved to diners in a restaurant as he passed by during his stroll on Friday in New York City 

The Grammy Award winner looked cheery and upbeat as he made one of his rare appearances in the city, enjoying a sunny and warm day in Central Park

The Grammy Award winner looked cheery and upbeat as he made one of his rare appearances in the city, enjoying a sunny and warm day in Central Park

The Fly Me to the Moon singer was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2016 and he retired from performing in August, closing out his seven-decade career.

Since his retirement, Bennett has filled his time with painting, cooking, and rolling through his beloved park. 

Early last month, the Grammy Award winner was seen in the park in another rare appearance, alongside his wife Susan Bendetto – who took his original surname.

It was the first time the father-of-four was seen using a wheelchair to get around the very inaccessible city.  

In August, Benedetto said he still recognized her and his children – sons Danny, 68, and Dae, 67, both of them born from Bennett’s first marriage to Patricia Beech, which ended in 1971; and daughters Joanna, 52, and Antonia, 48, whose mother is Bennett’s second wife, actress Sandra Grant, who divorced Bennett in 1984.

Benedetto and Bennett married in 2007, at a ceremony presided over by former New York governor, Mario Cuomo.

Benedetto was a high school teacher, who was a fan of the singer.

‘When she was nineteen she had tickets to see me perform at the Masonic Temple in San Francisco and she put in a request to say hello backstage after the show, probably not expecting a response,’ Bennett wrote in his book.

‘The request was sent to me, and it tickled me that someone of her age was so devoted to my music.

‘I not only agreed to say hello to her backstage, but asked her to be my date for the evening, and that’s how it really all began.’

He didn't seem to mind the buzzy street as he comfortably sat in his wheelchair

He didn’t seem to mind the buzzy street as he comfortably sat in his wheelchair 

The friend of Lady Gaga was seen rolling around in a wheelchair for the first time last month

The friend of Lady Gaga was seen rolling around in a wheelchair for the first time last month 

Nothing can stop him from rolling! The Fly Me to the Moon singer enjoyed the day in his beloved park. He moved to Central Park South 25 years ago to be close to it and is seen from time to time enjoying a little greenery in the concrete jungle

Nothing can stop him from rolling! The Fly Me to the Moon singer enjoyed the day in his beloved park. He moved to Central Park South 25 years ago to be close to it and is seen from time to time enjoying a little greenery in the concrete jungle 

When Benedetto and Bennett announced his Alzheimer’s diagnosis in February 2021, she said it had been hard to come to terms with it in the five years since his condition was confirmed.

‘There’s a lot about him that I miss, because he’s not the old Tony anymore,’ she said in the interview. ‘But when he sings, he’s the old Tony.’

She said he had been spared some of the worst symptoms of Alzheimer’s — such as episodes of rage, terror and depression.

Benedetto revealed that the World War Two veteran ‘doesn’t know’ he has Alzheimer’s disease.

‘He recognizes me, thank goodness, his children you know, we are blessed in a lot of ways. He’s very sweet. He doesn’t know he has it,’ she said.

His aide also seemed to be enjoying the summer weather as the pair seemed to laugh and smile together on Friday

His aide also seemed to be enjoying the summer weather as the pair seemed to laugh and smile together on Friday 

Bennett was seen wearing his favorite outfit nowadays: comfy Adidas sweats, a Nike polo and jacket, and pristine white sneakers

Bennett was seen wearing his favorite outfit nowadays: comfy Adidas sweats, a Nike polo and jacket, and pristine white sneakers 

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