×

Famed Singer Vic Damone Dies at 89

Legendary crooner Vic Damone died from complications of a respiratory illness on Sunday in Miami Beach, Fla., his daughter Victoria confirmed to the Associated Press. He was 89.

Born Vito Farinola to an Italian family in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, Damone was known for his deep baritone love ballads and Frank Sinatra, whom he idolized and often tried to imitate. Sinatra once described Damone as having “the best pipes in the business.”

After winning a tie on the “Alfred Godfrey Talent Hunt” radio show, Damone’s singing career took off, and the crooner sold millions of records in a recording career spanning over 50 years.

During his performing days, Damone appeared on radio shows, films, television programs, and also sang at nightclubs. However, in his 2009 memoir, “Singing Was the Easy Part,” he said that while singing came easy, being a showman “wasn’t my particular gift.”

Over the span of his career, Damone released over 2,500 records and hit songs like “Again,” ”You’re Breaking My Heart,” ”My Heart Cries for You,” and ”On the Street Where You Live.” He also worked on films like Cary Grant’s “An Affair to Remember,” where Damone sang the theme music.

He continued to perform into his 70s until a stroke in 2002 pushed him into retirement in Palm Beach, Fla., with his fifth wife, fashion designer Rena Rowan.

Damone gave one final performance on Jan. 22, 2011 at the Kravis Performing Arts Center in West Palm Beach to a sold-out crowd.

Popular on Variety

More Music

  • Review: Taylor Swift Finds Giddiness, Amid

    Album Review: Taylor Swift's 'Lover'

    Sitting in a hot tub on “Saturday Night Live,” Will Ferrell and Rachel Dratch stole the sobriquet “love-ah” from the lexicon of acceptable terms of endearment — and, by golly, Taylor Swift is reaching into that oily water and stealing it back. The word doesn’t sound unctuous on her lips as she repeats it in [...]

  • Travis Scott Surprises Fans With Netflix

    Travis Scott Surprises Fans With Netflix Documentary Reveal, Pop-Up in Houston

    Travis Scott just revealed his new Netflix documentary in the most organic way possible: a social media post to his 18.5 million followers on Instagram. The photo consisted of him holding a series of VHS tapes, which turns out to be the trailer for his forthcoming documentary on Netflix titled “Look Mom I Can Fly.” [...]

  • Beverly Hills Realtor Accused of Stealing

    Beverly Hills Realtor Accused of Stealing From Usher, Adam Lambert

    A Beverly Hills real estate agent has been arrested on charges of stealing from the homes of celebrities, including Usher, Adam Lambert and “Real Housewives” star Dorit Kemsley. Jason Emil Yaselli, 32, is accused of encouraging an accomplice, Benjamin Ackerman, to enter homes during open houses in order to steal from them. Ackerman allegedly sold [...]

  • Taylor Swift Debuts 'Lover' Video, Sings

    Taylor Swift Debuts 'Lover' Video, Sings 'Archer' During YouTube Livestream (Watch)

    Taylor Swift went live on YouTube today to talk about the inspiration behind her new album “Lover,” dropping tonight. Those who tuned into the live event on Swift’s YouTube channel were virtual attendees of the “Lover’s Lounge,” which included an acoustic performance of her already released single “The Archer,” a Q&A sesh and a behind-the-scenes [...]

  • Missy-Elliot VMA

    Missy Elliott to Drop New EP, ‘Iconology,’ Tonight

    It’s been nearly 15 years since Missy Elliott dropped her last album, and in that time she’s released a handful of songs, made some guest features, played some lconcerts, appeared alongside Katy Perry at the 2015 Super Bowl and this year she’s been voted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and on Monday night she’ll [...]

  • John Janick Interscope Geffen

    And the New Interscope Records Publicity Chief Is...

    Variety has confirmed one of the worst kept secrets in the music business: Cara Donatto is joining Interscope Geffen A&M (IGA) as its new head of publicity. She arrives at the Universal Music Group label from Atlantic Records, where she has spent nearly two decades of her career guiding public relations strategy for such artists [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content