Tony Bennett died on the age of 96 on July 21, however he leaves behind a protracted legacy. Bennett was an iconic jazz and pop vocalist who rose to prominence within the Nineteen Fifties and netted 19 Grammys throughout his lifetime. He was at all times a prolific collaborator, working with the likes of Amy Winehouse and Diana Krall. However in his later years, he labored extensively together with his pricey pal Girl Gaga.
Gaga has but to publicly touch upon Bennett’s demise, however she honored him extensively all through his life. The duo launched two albums and a documentary collectively and had been unwaveringly supportive of each other over the course of their decade-plus-long friendship. Forward, be taught extra about their bond.
How Did Girl Gaga and Tony Bennett Meet?
Gaga and Bennett first met at a Robin Hood Basis charity gala in 2011. Bennett noticed Gaga carry out the jazz commonplace “Orange Colored Sky” from the viewers, went backstage to fulfill her, and the remaining was historical past. “We were fast friends — friends ever since [our first meeting],” Gaga informed Individuals in 2014. “Tony heard me sing it, and he asked to meet me after the show. And I said, ‘Oh my gosh! Tony Bennett’s here!'”
Bennett and Gaga then opened up about their first assembly in a joint interview with Parade in 2014. “It was the first time I heard Lady perform, and I could not believe the audience’s reaction,” Bennett mentioned. “I went backstage, and she was there with her parents.” Gaga additionally fondly remembered the night time. “I walked offstage sweating, and they said, ‘Mr. Tony Bennett wants to meet you.’ My father got all choked up, and my mother said, ‘Oh, I need to fix my hair!’ We all had champagne,” she mentioned. “I was so happy to meet him.”
What Music Did Girl Gaga and Tony Bennett Work on Collectively?
Apparently, the pair started discussing collaborations the second they met. “I fixed my hair, and my mom was fixing her makeup, and then we went back to meet him,” Gaga informed Individuals in 2014. “He said, ‘Do you want to do a jazz album together?’ And I said, ‘Yes, of course I do!'”
The duo’s first joint mission was a duet of the present tune “The Lady Is a Tramp”; it appeared on Bennett’s 2011 album “Duets II.” They adopted that up with the 2014 album “Cheek to Cheek,” which received a Grammy in 2015 for finest conventional pop vocal album. In 2021, they launched one other album known as “Love For Sale,” which consisted of Cole Porter songs.
“It was a gift,” Gaga informed USA Immediately that 12 months of “Love For Sale.” “It’s a gift that I will hold in my heart ’til my last breath. My time with Tony has changed me forever. Frank Sinatra said he was the best singer in the world and I don’t think Frank lied.”
They carried out at all kinds of occasions over time and performed their final concert events collectively in August 2021 when Bennett was 95 years previous. These exhibits had been later become a documentary known as “One Last Time: An Evening With Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga.”
Inside Girl Gaga and Tony Bennett’s Supportive Friendship
Gaga has been open about how her relationship with Bennett modified her life, saving her throughout a time when she felt restricted by the pressures of being a pop star. In 2014, Gaga informed Parade that on the time she met Bennett, she “didn’t even want to sing” anymore. “I tell Tony every day that he saved my life,” she mentioned.
Gaga later elaborated on that in an interview with The Telegraph in 2014. “He has made me so happy in the way that I really needed to feel,” she mentioned. “He’s really, like, saved my life. . . . ‘Cause I really love music, and I really love being a singer, but I really hate being put in a box. And when I get put in a box I get very like a wild animal. And he let me be free. And I get to be with him while I’m doing it, and he’s teaching me all these life lessons, and I’m singing music I’ve loved my whole life.”
The pair additionally deeply revered one another’s expertise. “I just love what she did on this album,” Bennett informed Parade of “Cheek to Cheek.” “She’s up there with Ella Fitzgerald, who was the greatest singer in the world.” Gaga had comparable ideas. “Working with Tony has reaffirmed everything I knew but that you start to forget when your life changes and it gets really noisy,” she informed the outlet. “For Tony, it’s all about great music.”
She additionally shared that their friendship impressed one in all her tattoos. “I asked Tony to draw me a trumpet, and he sketched me Miles Davis’s trumpet. Then I had it tattooed with his last name, Benedetto, underneath,” she informed Individuals in 2014. “Just so I would always remember this time together.”
In 2016, Bennett was recognized with Alzheimer’s, and Gaga continued to be unfailingly supportive. In a 2021 interview with AARP Journal, Bennett’s oldest son, Danny, mentioned he even touched base with Gaga about Bennett’s choice to go public together with his prognosis. “I wanted to check with her to make sure she was cool,” he mentioned, “because she watches his back all the time. She was like, ‘Absolutely, it’s just another gift that he can give to the world.'”
When Gaga and Bennett’s album “Love For Sale” acquired six Grammy nominations in 2021, Gaga honored Bennett and their enduring musical bond on Instagram. “Thank you to the public for loving us, we surely love each other, and you,” she wrote. “Believe in love and partnership, even with 60 years between us, and Alzheimer’s, there is nothing like the magic of music. I love you Tony, and the world loves you too. How could they not?”
That very same 12 months, Gaga informed USA Immediately that whereas they had been recording their last exhibits, Bennett confirmed her that he nonetheless remembered who she was. “I witnessed something in that man that let me know that he knew [me],” Gaga mentioned. “He called me ‘sweetheart’ during rehearsals, but on our last night together, he said, ‘It’s Lady Gaga.’ That was the first time he had said my name in a long time. And he gave that gift to me. I know he dug deep to give me that gift and I’m really forever grateful.”
Bennett, for his half, paid tribute to Gaga for the final time on July 13, 2023, when he shared a video of the duo acting on Instagram. “Remembering the musical magic made in the studio with the remarkable Lady Gaga for our rendition of ‘Night and Day,'” the caption learn.
Forward, see photographs of the pair’s friendship over time.