×

Robert De Niro, Larry King, Rosario Dawson Sing for Tony Bennett on His Birthday at Friars Club Gala

As Robert De Niro presented the Friars Club Entertainment Icon Award to Tony Bennett Monday night at the Sheraton Hotel in New York, he joked: “Every time I turn around Tony’s doing another great thing — selling out concerts, winning Grammys, collaborating with today’s biggest pop stars like Lady Gaga… Me, I’m doing the occasional movie and selling fish.”

De Niro continued, “He marched with Martin Luther King, from Selma to Montgomery. In short, Tony [Bennett] has dedicated his life to making the rest of us look bad.”

The Friars Club, known for its celebrity roasts and charitable endeavors, gathered actors, comedians and musicians to honor the 18-time Grammy award-winning artist with its sixth Entertainment Icon accolade since the organization was founded in 1904. Bennett joined an exclusive group of talents, including De Niro, Tom Cruise, Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra and silent-movie star Douglas Fairbanks, when he received the club’s highest honor on his 90th birthday.

Comedian Jeff Ross drew laughs from the audience, while making fun of the room consisting mostly of senior citizens: “Look at this table, I’ve seen younger faces on cash!” Master of ceremonies Larry King had jokes of his own for Regis Philbin who stood to do some schmoozing after dinner. “Regis Philbin is also here. Stand-up Regis. No Regis, stand up!” he yelled.

A-listers like Scarlett Johansson posed for photos by her table, while Rosario Dawson chatted with fellow presenter Brett Ratner. The evening was also highlighted by song dedications from jazz pianist Barbara Carroll, who noted her friendship with Bennett had spanned nearly 60 years.

King later led an impromptu chorus of Bennett’s “The Best Is Yet To Come” with De Niro, Dawson and Nicole Henry. Though the ceremony was in equal parts an awards show and roast, Bennett managed to get the last laugh before thanking the Friars Club. “I’m the only one who didn’t sing it, ’cause I’m not getting paid for it!”

“Thank you very much for being so wonderful and thinking of me,” he continued. “This is something I’ll never forget.”

More Music

  • Chaka Khan arrives at the Vanity

    Chaka Khan Joins Fergie in Pantheon of Memorable NBA National Anthem Performances

    It takes a lot to make a performance of “The Star Spangled Banner” before the NBA All-Star Game trend higher on social media than the game itself, but Chaka Khan has managed what Fergie was able to two years ago, with a unique rendering of the National Anthem that threatened to render anything that followed [...]

  • Adam Lambert and Brian MayGlobal Citizen

    Watch Queen & Adam Lambert Re-Enact Band’s Live Aid Set at Australia Wildfire Benefit

    Queen + Adam Lambert rocked Australian fans with a re-enactment of the band’s iconic 1985 Live Aid performance at a benefit aiding those affected by the country’s recent bushfires. The band performed Sunday at a benefit for Fire Fight Australia at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium, raising funds for bushfire relief, and gave concert goers an extra [...]

  • ALTADENA, CA - FEBRUARY 13: Wiz

    Wiz Khalifa Surprises L.A. Middle School Students With Musical Instrument Donation

    Rapper Wiz Khalifa surprised a group of students at Los Angeles’ Eliot Arts Magnet Academy on Feb. 13 with a donation of musical instruments. The Grammy-nominated artist partnered with national music education nonprofit Little Kids Rock for the reveal. Little Kids Rock’s mission is to bring inclusive and culturally relevant music education programs to schools [...]

  • TobyMac, Toby McKeehan. TobyMac performs during

    TobyMac Shares Emotional Tribute to Late Son at L.A. Forum Concert (Watch)

    TobyMac was not about to make anyone wait for him to address the elephant in the room as he started his set Saturday night at L.A.’s Forum. Ten concerts deep into his “Hits Deep” arena tour, the Christian singer-rapper was clearly aware that fans want to hear him speak sooner rather than later about the [...]

  • Kobe Bryant Dead

    Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson Give Kobe Tributes at NBA All-Star Game

    Grammy-winning singers Queen Latifah and Jennifer Hudson paid homage to the late Kobe Bryant while singing at the NBA All-Star Weekend in Chicago on Sunday. First, Latifah performed Stevie Wonder’s inspirational ballad “Love’s In Need of Love Today” and changed some of the lyrics in honor of Bryant, who died in a shocking helicopter crash [...]

  • Sir Elton JohnElton John in concert,

    Elton John Cuts Concert Short Due to Walking Pneumonia

    Elton John was forced to cut short a concert in New Zealand after falling ill with walking pneumonia, according to the BBC and multiple news outlets. The singer, who is continuing his multi-year farewell tour, lost his voice mid-way through his set at Auckland’s Mount Smart Stadium on Sunday. “I’ve just completely lost my voice. [...]

  • Freestyle Love Supreme review

    'We Are Freestyle Love Supreme': Film Review

    For any Lin-Manuel Miranda fans whose hearts sank almost as quickly as they rose upon hearing that, yes, there’s a “Hamilton” movie, and no, it won’t be out for another 20 months, succor may be on the way in the form of a probably faster-arriving movie that features Miranda in almost as big a role, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content