I was going through a terrible divorce, and my personal life was a mess. I goofed so bad. That Christmas I was in a hotel room by myself. It was the first time I'd ever spent the holidays away from family. All of a sudden, I heard some music. I opened the door to find one of the greatest surprises of my life: There was a choir singing "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever." My friend Duke Ellington, who happened to be in town for a concert, had heard I was alone. So he sent a choir for me. For years this kindness from Duke lifted up my whole life. It showed me that no matter how bad things seem, there are always people in this world who care about others. That revelation changed my life.
— As told to Michelle Burford
To learn about Tony Bennett's charity to bring arts programs to public schools, visit ExploringtheArts.org