Tony Bennett says legalize drugs

Tony Bennett proclaims "Whitney" at the end of his performance during the 2012 Pre-Grammy...

Tony Bennett proclaims "Whitney" at the end of his performance during the 2012 Pre-Grammy Gala & Salute to Industry Icons at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California February 11, 2012. (REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:41 PM ET

Legendary singer Tony Bennett urged the U.S. government to legalize drugs at a tribute to singer Whitney Houston Saturday night.

Houston died suddenly on Saturday afternoon at age 48.

"First it was Michael Jackson, then Amy Winehouse, now, the magnificent Whitney Houston," he is quoted as saying in the Hollywood Reporter. "I'd like every person in this room to campaign to legalize drugs.

"Let's legalize drugs like they did in Amsterdam," said Bennett, who battled drug addiction in the late 70s. "No one's hiding or sneaking around corners to get it. They go to a doctor to get it."

Bennett went on to perform How Do You Keep the Music Playing in honour of the singer who fought a long, public fight with drug addiction.

It is believed Houston had been scheduled to appear at the pre-Grammy Awards party - which quickly turned into a tribute to her - before her death.

"This is a song Frank Sinatra asked me to sing," Bennett told the crowd. "I'd like to dedicate it to Whitney. When I first heard her, I called (producer) Clive Davis and said, 'You finally found the greatest singer I've ever heard in my life.'"

Davis, who had first discovered Houston and became a mentor to the singer, said it was time to celebrate her life.

“Simply put, Whitney would have wanted the music to go on and her family asked that we carry on,” he said.

-- with files from Reuters


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