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Tony Bennett Currently Oldest Living Person to Chart on Hot 100

Tony Bennett
Jemal Countess, Getty Images

With a little help from the late Amy Winehouse, Tony Bennett is now the oldest living person ever to appear on the Billboard Hot 100. ‘Body and Soul,’ his duet with the British singer, enters the countdown at No. 87, based on sales figures of 25,000 downloads last week.

That makes the 85-year-old crooner the senior statesman in chart history. The former record-holder was comedian George Burns, who was 84 when ‘I Wish I Was Eighteen Again’ charted in 1980.

Bennett’s last Hot 100 hit came in 1967, a gap of nearly 44 years that also establishes a record for most years between hits for any solo artist, living or dead. Bennett snatches that honor away from the late Otis Redding, who took hold of the record just two months ago. Redding was off the countdown for 42 years before the success of ‘Otis,’ the collaboration between Jay-Z and Kanye West featuring Redding.

Based on early reports, Billboard is projecting that Bennett could earn the No. 1 spot on next week’s album chart with his new release, ‘Duets II,’ which features Winehouse, Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey, and many others. That would mark the first No. 1 of Bennett’s career, but he is facing tough competition from country trio Lady Antebellum.

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