San Francisco honors legendary singer Tony Bennett with statue

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The crooner who left his heart in San Francisco is leaving his mark atop Nob Hill. The city honored Tony Bennett on Friday with a new landmark that's kind of hard to miss.

It was Tony Bennett Day on Friday in San Francisco, a day where the city paid tribute to the legendary singer who turned 90 this year. His gift was a statue at the Fairmont Hotel.

Bennett first sang "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" at the Venetian Room at the Fairmont in 1961, so it was fitting to have his likeness here.

It was a typical summer day in the city but, as the song goes, "the fog may chill the air but we don't care."

Hundreds lined up to see the public unveiling of the 8-foot bronze statue of Bennett, which stood behind a blue curtain.

VIDEO: Tony Bennett statue unveiled at Fairmont in San Francisco
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A statue was unveiled in San Francisco on Friday in honor Tony Bennett's 90th birthday. Here's a look at what the music icon had to say at the joyous celebration.

The singer was at sculptor Bruce Wolf's Piedmont studio for three days.

"Mr. Bennett is fantastic. What's not to like, you know? Did he sing for me? No," Wolfe said.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee declared Aug. 19 Tony Bennett Day.

The Giants' Larry Baer was there to pay tribute. "When the team was saved in 1993, he was there to sing when we returned to San Francisco," he said.

The city's Chief of Protocol Charlotte Mailliard Shultz reminded us that the singer was always here when we needed help.

"When we brought back the cable cars, he was here. When we wanted to tell people that, after the earthquake, we didn't fall into the ocean, he was here," Mailliard Shultz said.

Former Mayor Willie Brown's praise was simple. "Tony is an adopted son."

The statue was a birthday present for the singer, who turned 90 earlier this month.

For once, everybody sang for him. "I'm overwhelmed. It's beautiful, it's the greatest day I've ever experienced," Bennett said.

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