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The Real Reason Tony Bennett Changed His Name

Tony Bennett earned the respect of millions on his journey to the top of the music industry, and it was Bob Hope who helped launch him to stardom. Bennett eventually returned to New York City after being drafted to serve in World War II. Using the G.I. Bill, he was able to attend the American Theatre Wing, where he refined his singing technique. Still going by Joe Bari, he continued to perform in nightclubs and eventually landed a gig at the Village Inn in Greenwich Village. It was here where Hope came across Bennett while he was performing and gave him an invitation to the Paramount. However, he wanted the singer to use a new stage name: Tony Bennett.

Hope reportedly didn’t care for the name, Joe Bari, but thought his given name — Anthony Dominick Benedetto — was far too long, particularly for promotional signage (think of the marquee space that would take up). From that moment onward, he was known as Tony Bennett and didn’t look back.

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