Lady Gaga gets emotional in tribute to late musical icon Tony Bennett

Publish Date
Tuesday, 1 August 2023, 8:50AM
Lady Gaga (R) and Tony Bennett perform onstage during The 57th Annual Grammy Awards in 2015. Photo / Getty Images via NZ Herald

Lady Gaga (R) and Tony Bennett perform onstage during The 57th Annual Grammy Awards in 2015. Photo / Getty Images via NZ Herald

In a homage to the legendary Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga expressed her grief and paid tribute to her mentor and dear friend following his passing.

The news of Bennett's death on July 21 left the music industry and fans worldwide in mourning.

Lady Gaga, who shared a close bond with Bennett, took to Instagram to share her heartfelt emotions. She reminisced about their continuous musical partnership and the profound impact Bennett had on her booming career.

"I will miss my friend forever. I will miss singing with him, recording with him, talking with him, being on stage together. With Tony, I got to live my life in a time warp. Tony & I had this magical power. We transported ourselves to another era, modernized the music together, & gave it all new life as a singing duo."

'But it wasnt an act. Our relationship was very real. Sure he taught me about music, about showbiz life, but he also showed me how to keep my spirits high and my head screwed on straight. 'Straight ahead,' he'd say."

"He was an optimist, he believed in quality work AND quality life. Plus, there was the gratitude...Tony was always grateful. He served in WWII, marched with Martin Luther King Jr., and sang jazz with the greatest singers and players in the world."

"I've been grieving the loss of Tony for a long time. We had a very long and powerful goodbye."

"Though there were 5 decades between us, he was my friend. My real true friend. Our age difference didn’t matter-- in fact, it gave us each something neither of us had with most people. We were from two different stages in life entirely--inspired. Losing Tony to Alzheimer’s has been painful but it was also really beautiful."

'An era of memory loss is such a sacred time in a persons life. There's such a feeling of vulnerability and a desire to preserve dignity."

"All I wanted was for Tony to remember how much I loved him and how grateful I was to have him in my life. But, as that faded slowly I knew deep down he was sharing with me the most vulnerable moment in his life that he could--being willing to sing with me when his nature was changing so deeply."

"I'll never forget this experience. I'll never forget Tony Bennett. If I could say anything to the world about this I would say don’t discount your elders, don’t leave them behind when things change."

"Don’t flinch when you feel sad, just keep going straight ahead, sadness is part of it. Take care of your elders and I promise you will learn something special. Maybe even magical. And pay attention to silence—some of my musical partner and I’s most meaningful exchanges were with no melody at all."

"I love you Tony. Love, Lady"

Bennett battled with Alzheimer’s disease during his final years. The initial diagnosis was made in 2016, although Bennett didn’t go public with the news until early 2021. He would have turned 97 on Aug. 3.

Ultimately, Lady Gaga's tribute will stand as a testament to the enduring power of her creative and personal association with Bennett. Two duet albums, Grammy-winning Cheek to Cheek (2014) and Love for Sale (2021) were born out of Lady Gaga and Bennett’s collaboration.


This article was first published by iHeartRadio and is republished here with permission.

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