The odd friends became good friends while working together to create two highly regarded jazz albums.
Lady Gaga has fallen silent. The pop diva is mourning the loss of her friend and fellow musician Tony Bennett, whose passing at the age of 96 was announced last Friday, along with millions of fans worldwide.
“I’ll always miss my pal. I shall miss talking to him, singing on recordings with him, and performing on stage with him. I had the opportunity to live in a time warp with Tony. I had this mystical ability with Tony. We modernized the music together, transported ourselves to a different time, and breathed new life into it as a vocal duo, she wrote.
It wasn’t an act, though. Our bond seemed really genuine. Sure, he taught me about music and the show business, but he also demonstrated how to have a positive attitude and keep my head on straight. He’d say “straight ahead.” He was an optimist who valued both a good life and a good job. Moreover, there was the appreciation…Tony was ever appreciative.
“He participated in the Second World War, marched alongside Martin Luther King Jr., and performed jazz with the best musicians and singers in the world. I’ve been lamenting Tony’s passing for a very long time. We had a heartfelt and protracted farewell. He was my friend even though there were five decades between us.
“My truest friend. Our age gap didn’t matter; in fact, it provided us both advantages we wouldn’t have had with other people. We were completely different people at two separate times of life. Though heartbreaking, losing Tony to Alzheimer’s has also been incredibly lovely.
“A person’s life is so sacred when they are experiencing memory loss. There is a strong sense of vulnerability and a need to maintain respectability. All I wanted was for Tony to know how much I appreciated having him in my life and how much I loved him.
The fact that he was willing to sing with me when his nature was changing so drastically made me realize in the depths of my soul that he was sharing with me the most vulnerable moment in his life that he could. I won’t ever forget this encounter. I’ll always remember Tony Bennett.
“If I could tell the world anything about this, I would tell them to respect their elders and not leave them behind when things change. When you’re upset, don’t stop moving forward; grief is a natural part of life. I guarantee that if you take good care of your elders, you will learn something wonderful. Even miraculous, perhaps. Also, pay attention to the quiet; some of my musical partner and I’s most poignant conversations involved absolutely no melody.
“Tony, I adore you. Love, Lady,” the singer said in the post’s closing.
Tony first encountered Lady Gaga in 2011 at a benefit concert in New York City when she played “Orange Colored Sky,” and he told her, “Lady, you are a jazz singer.” Tony also performed in duets with artists such as Amy Winehouse, Diana Krall, and many others. He invited her right away to record “The Lady Is a Tramp” for his Duets II album, which was released that same year, after being impressed by the pop superstar’s jazz skills.
With regard to the recording session, Tony informed Rolling Stone that “she came in so prepared and so knowledgeable about what to do.””She’s just as talented as Ella Fitzgerald or anyone else you can think of. And that’s without mentioning her dancing or her beliefs towards debunking false myths and handling awkward social situations. She is incredibly powerful. She might develop into America’s Picasso if they simply leave her alone to accomplish what she must do. I realize that sounds far-fetched. She has incredible talent.
In January 2013, they performed on stage together once more at President Barack Obama’s second inaugural celebration.
Tony and Lady Gaga collaborated on two albums, including the Grammy-winning “Cheek to Cheek.”
Cheek to Cheek, a full-length album of pop jazz standards they collaborated on at Gaga’s suggestion, was published in 2014. The album, which also included “Lush Life,” “Anything Goes,” and “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love,” won the Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album and went on to sell about 800,000 copies in the United States alone.
Tony has been referred to by Gaga as “my musical partner” and “the greatest singer in the world.”
Tony was given an Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis in 2016, but the duo persisted and in 2021, Love for Sale, their follow-up album, was published. Throughout the duration of their friendship and time spent creating together, Gaga was in awe of her buddy and mentor. She admitted to AARP, “I still haven’t gotten over Tony seeing me as a natural-born jazz singer.”
In a series of sold-out performances at Radio City Music Hall in New York City in celebration of his 95th birthday, Gaga and Tony notably shared the stage for one last performance. The performances were compiled into the TV special “One Last Time: An Evening with Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga.”
At a concert on August 3, 2021, Gaga introduced her idol and said, “He’s my friend. He is my performing partner. He is also the best singer in the entire globe. I’m depending on you, New York, to put a smile on his face. You’d better cheer, then. You’d better shout. You’d better chuckle. I hope you weep. You had best give everything.
Gaga was open about how terrible it was to see Tony struggle as his Alzheimer’s advanced. She admitted to Anderson Cooper, “It’s hard to watch someone change.” I believe that observing how it impacts him in some ways, while also observing how it hasn’t affected his abilities, has been both beautiful and frustrating. I believe he went through a lot for the world to realize that even in the face of adversity, greatness can endure.
Gaga praised their friendship and collaborative efforts in 2015 when they won the Grammys, saying, “I think something I was yearning for myself was a truly authentic partnership, a true artistic interchange…Along with that, Tony proved to be a friend. We communicate a lot in addition to spending a lot of time together and doing music. Every aspect of the trip has been amazing.
Bennett introduced himself to Gaga and said, “Lady, you are a jazz singer.”
Tony’s wife Susan Benedetto, his four stepchildren, and his seven grandchildren all survive him.