Lady GaGa is paying tribute to her friend and collaborator Tony Bennett.
The legendary performer passed away on July 21 at 96, years after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016. He and GaGa had long been collaborators ever since they first worked together on Tony’s 2011 album Duets II. They went on to record two albums together and perform in two shows at Radio City in 2021 for his 95th birthday, which aired on CBS as the One Last Time: An Evening With Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga special.
In the past, the Born This Way artist even credited her relationship with Tony for saving her music career because she was about to walk away before she met him. So, that shows you how close they were!
Naturally, everyone has been thinking of the Poker Face singer as she deals with the heartbreaking loss, and now she’s ready to open up about what Tony meant to her. Taking to Instagram on Monday, the pop star shared a super sweet snapshot of her hugging the crooner, sharing:
“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.”
Expanding on what she learned throughout her friendship with the musician, she continued:
“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.”
Addressing their 59-year age gap, the Grammy winner noted:
“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.”
Love it! You could always tell how close they were, but we’re so glad to know it was 100% real!
Being by his side for his Alzheimer’s diagnosis was also an eye-opening and difficult experience for the 37-year-old, who expressed:
“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.”
The A Star Is Born star ended her emotional tribute, writing:
“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”
What a beautiful tribute. It sounds like they shared such a special bond. We’re so sorry for GaGa and all those mourning this tremendous loss right now. You can read her full post (below):
May he rest in peace.