NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Tony Bennett has been entertaining the world with his singing voice for decades — but now, the esteemed performer is going public with his other artistic passion — art.

Bennett, 89, said his family encouraged him to pursue both singing and painting when he was a child growing up in Queens.

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“When I performed for them or I painted for them they said, ‘you sing very well and you paint very well’ and it was just at the time of my life where I just said, ‘Who am I? Like what am I supposed to do?'” Bennett said.

The singer said he started by drawing with chalk on the sidewalk outside his Astoria home.

“It was my wonderful family, my relatives, that told me I was doing well with my singing and with my painting and I just said, ‘This is who I am,’ Bennett said.

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But despite a passion and talent for both creative endeavors, Bennett said he knew from an early age that singing would be his life.

“I’m a funny guy. I have to sing. It’s been that way since I was 9-years-old,” Bennett said.

Bennett, who was formally trained at Manhattan’s School of Art and Design, now uses watercolors and oils, finding inspiration from sweeping views of Central Park, seen from his studio apartment.

“There isn’t a day where I’m not thinking about music or painting. I’ve done it every day of my life,” Bennett said.

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Bennett signs all his artwork with his given name, Anthony Benedetto. Some of his work is part of the Smithsonian’s permanent collection.