Crooner Tony Bennett has returned to Columbia Records 55 years after first signing with the label, to release a duets album to coincide with his 80th birthday in 2006.

The new deal is a four-year, two-album agreement. Under the terms of the deal, Bennett's ex-label Sony retains rights to the singer's catalogue and previously unreleased material.

Bennett's enjoying a great run up to Christmas (05) - he earned a Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album Grammy nomination for The Art Of Romance last week (ends09DEC05) and begins a three-night stint at Las Vegas' Golden Nugget Hotel + Casino tonight (16DEC05).