Singer Vic Damone Dies At 89
Singer Vic Damone, whose song “You’re Breaking My Heart” went to No. 1 in 1949, died Sunday at Mount Sinai Medical Centre in Miami Beach. He was 89.
Damone’s daughter Victoria said her father died from complication of a respiratory illness.
“He was simply one of the best!,” tweeted Canadian singer Matt Dusk. “You’ll be missed Vic!”
Michael Bublé, in 2010, told the New York Daily News: “Vic's voice was incredible, like butter.”
Born Vito Farinola in Brooklyn, Damone was inspired at an early age by the singers and big bands he saw performing while he worked as an usher at New York’s Paramount Theater. He entered talent shows and started singing professionally after his voice changed. His first hit – “I Have But One Heart” – came at 19.
Damone followed with Top 10 singles like “Again,” “My Heart Cries For You,” “My Truly Truly Fair” and “On the Street Where You Live.”
He also appeared on several TV series and in a handful of films.
"I … did not feel comfortable with what show business expected of me. I was not given a special talent as a show person,” Damone wrote in his autobiography Singing Was the Easy Part. “I'm thinking of people like Milton Berle, or Sammy Davis or Jerry Lewis ... all consummate showmen. I never thought of myself that way. That wasn't my particular gift.
"My gift was singing.”
Damone suffered a stroke in 2002 and an undisclosed health scare in 2008.
The crooner was married five times – including to actress-singer Diahann Carroll – and has four children and several grandchildren. His last wife was Rena Rowan, co-founder of Jones New York, who died in 2016.
Tributes are pouring in on social media.
James Tormé, son of singer Mel Tormé, tweeted: “I cry like a baby every time one of my idols leaves us, & today’s no exception. An incredible singer, Vito Rocco Farinola, (Vic Damone) was also a super gracious, lovely man, and a good friend of my dads.”
Damone told the Palm Beach Post in 2009 that he never wanted to be a superstar.
“The entourage, four or five guys walking everywhere with me. None of that,” he said. “I just wanted to pack up the bag, go to the airport and go do my job.
“I was happy with what I was doing.”