On Saturday, May 21, some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry celebrated the 90th birthday of the legendary Tony Bennett at Keep Memory Alive’s 20th annual Power of Love gala at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The star-studded event raised funds and awareness for Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and its fight against brain disease including Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s and Parkinson’s diseases, multiple sclerosis and multiple system atrophy.
Highlights from the night included a performance by honoree Tony Bennett and heartfelt tributes by James Corden, Andra Day, Herbie Hancock, Darius Rucker, Jordin Sparks, Steven Tyler and more. Day kicked off the show with her rendition of “Steppin’ Out With My Baby,” while Corden performed his version of “Don’t Get Around Much More.” Later in the evening, Sparks teamed up with pianist Dan Orlando to perform a medley of hits including “The Best Is Yet To Come,” “Alright OK You Win” and “It Don’t Mean A Thing.” Rucker treated guests to hit single “Sunny Side of The Street,” before Hancock took the stage to perform “Chameleon” and “Cantaloupe Island.” Tyler joined the elite ensemble to perform “Smile” with jazz trumpeter Chris Botti before singing Aerosmith classic “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing.” The man of the evening, Bennett, performed numerous hits including “Watch What Happens” and “How Do You Keep The Music Playing.” To close the show, the entire cast sang Bennett “Happy Birthday” and presented him with a celebratory cake. In addition to musical icons, celebrity supporters who also attended the event included Quincy Jones, Brad Garrett, Steve Schirripa and Chazz Palminteri.
Tony Bennett is also a gifted visual artist with three of his paintings in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution. To acknowledge this aspect of Bennett’s artistry, a variety of world-renowned painters, sculptors and other artists joined to celebrate and were recognized during a special presentation narrated by Academy Award, Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Minnie Driver, which was accompanied by an original score from former Wings guitarist Laurence Juber. Artists honored included: President and Founder of Cultural Counsel Adam Abdalla; Golden Lion Award-winning artist Marina Abramović; American artist and glass sculptor Dale Chihuly; President and CEO of Chihuly Studio and Chihuly Workshop Leslie Jackson Chihuly; American pop and conceptualism artist Jonathan Horowitz; Governor’s Award-winning artist and sculptor Jeff Koons; American post-conceptual artist Rob Pruitt; legendary New York artist Peter Tunney; screen writer Petter Skavlan; and curator, creative director and writer Neville Wakefield.
Continuing its 20-year history, the Power of Love gala showcased a dinner prepared by superstar chefs Mario Carbone, Nobu Matsuhisa and Wolfgang Puck, who has participated in every gala since its inception. In addition to enjoying the finest cuisine, wine and spirits, guests bid on one-of-a-kind experiences during a live and silent auction. Items auctioned include a seven-day Italian vacation in Florence and Venice with world-famous tenor Andrea Bocelli as a tour guide, an original piece titled “The GOOD LIFE” from artist Peter Tunney and a personal culinary tour of Jean‐Georges Vongerichten’s eight New York City restaurants.