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Bennett's Birthday Bouquet for Duke Ellington

"Duke Ellington" by Tony Bennett. Watercolor and graphite on paper, c. 1993. (National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Gift of Tony Bennett)

Singer Tony Bennett -- who moonlights as a painter -- celebrated the 110th birthday of close friend Duke Ellington today by donating a watercolor of the Washington-born composer to the National Portrait Gallery, reports our colleague Jackie Trescott.

There's a sentimental reason why Bennett put a dozen roses in the background of the 1993 work instead of, say, a grand piano: "Every time he wrote a song he thought I would like to record he sent a dozen pink roses," explained Bennett.

By The Reliable Source  |  April 29, 2009; 3:35 PM ET
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I count 21 roses?

Posted by: you-dont | April 30, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

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