Lady Gaga reflects on ‘painful’ but ‘beautiful’ process of losing friend Tony Bennett to Alzheimer’s and urges younger generation to ‘take care of your elders’ in powerful message following his death at 96
- Gaga, 37, shared a photo of herself hugging Bennett late on Sunday night
- They released two hit albums of duets, with the 2021 release marking his final LP
- Bennett died July 21 at 96 of Alzheimer’s, which he was diagnosed with in 2016
Lady Gaga finally spoke about the death of her longtime friend and collaborator Tony Bennett in a moving post shared to Instagram late on Sunday night.
The 37-year-old singer–songwriter posted a sweet photo of herself and the legendary crooner — who died on July 21 at 96 — as they leaned in for a big hug.
‘I will miss my friend forever,’ she began her lengthy and emotional caption. ‘I will miss singing with him, recording with him, talking with him, being on stage together.’
Farther down, the actress, who had Bennett sketch one of her tattoos, clarified that their relationship was ‘very real,’ and not just a transactional interaction to bolster their fame.
Despite that, she helped give Tony one last top 10 hit with their 2021 duets album Love For Sale, which marked his final release while alive.
Saying goodbye: Lady Gaga, 37, finally spoke about the death of her longtime friend and collaborator Tony Bennett in a moving post shared to Instagram late on Sunday night
A hole in her heart: ‘I will miss my friend forever,’ she began her lengthy and emotional caption while praising the legendary crooner, who died on July 21 at 96
Gaga then gushed about the strong bond and connection that they had, typing, ‘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.’
She emphasized that their relationship was ‘real’ and added, ‘it wasn’t 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.’
The songstress then listed a few historical moments Bennett had been a part of during his lifetime. ‘He served in WWII, marched with Martin Luther King Jr., and sang jazz with the greatest singers and players in the world.’
The Poker Face singer emotionally expressed that she has been ‘grieving the loss of Tony’ but added that the pair ‘had a very long and powerful goodbye.’
Despite ‘5 decades’ between the two stars, ‘he was my friend. My real true friend’ and explained that their difference in age was never a hindrance.
‘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,’ the House Of Gucci actress wrote, adding, ‘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.’
‘Very real’: Farther down, the actress clarified that their relationship was ‘very real,’ and not just a transactional interaction to bolster their fame; seen in 2019 in Las Vegas
Powerful bond: Gaga then gushed about the strong bond and connection that they had, typing, ‘With Tony, I got to live my life in a time warp. Tony & I had this magical power’; seen in 2015 in Los Angeles
Memorable ink: The songstress had the Rags To Riches singer sketch a trumpet which she then had tattooed on her upper right arm; seen in 2021 in Italy
Gaga, whose real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, stated that she will ‘never forget this experience’ and the Rags To Riches singer.
‘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,’ she movingly added towards the end of her heart-tugging tribute.
‘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,’ the performer wrote, concluding with, ‘I love you Tony. Love, Lady.’
On July 21, Tony’s publicist, Sylvia Weiner, announced that the crooner had passed away. Although a cause of death was not revealed, he notably was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2016, but didn’t inform his fans of the diagnosis until 2021.
Despite battling the disease, the singer continuously stuck by his optimism, and collaborated with Lady Gaga on the album, Love For Sale, which was released in September 2021.
Along with the Just Dance songstress, Tony had collaborated with a number of other stars throughout his long-lasting career, such as Amy Winehouse and Frank Sinatra.
Bennett and Gaga first crossed paths in 2011 while attending the Robin Hood Foundation gala in NYC. During a past interview with People in 2014, she recalled meeting the crooner after she sang Nat King Cole’s Orange Colored Sky.
‘Tony heard me sing it, and he asked to meet me,’ the Born This Way singer said. ‘He said, “Do you want to do a jazz album together?” I said, “Of course I do!” We were fast friends.’
Unforgettable: Gaga, whose real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, stated that she will ‘never forget this experience’ and the Rags To Riches singer; the pair seen in 2015
Saddening news: On July 21, Tony’s publicist, Sylvia Weiner, announced that the crooner had passed away; the crooner seen in 2019 in Michigan
Tony had also recounted the night, and told Parade in 2014, ‘It was the first time I heard Lady perform, and I could not believe the audience’s reaction.’
‘The first thing I said was, “Let’s do an album together.” And she said, “Okay.” That quick. I just love what she did on [their album]. She’s up there with Ella Fitzgerald, who was the greatest singer in the world,’ he had gushed.
The pair released Cheek To Cheek in 2014, which jumped to the number one spot on the Billboard 200 chart and earned the two singers a Grammy.
At the time, he beat his own record of being the oldest living performer with a number one Billboard charting album at the age of 88.
Their second collaborative album, Love For Sale, which was a tribute to Cole Porter, received a total of six Grammy nominations. The album would also be their last collaborative album together before his death.
His last public performance was also with Gaga. The two reunited at Radio City Music Hall in NYC in August 2021 for the One Last Time concert. The sold-out show was recorded and later aired in November of that year.
During an interview with 60 Minutes, the actress and singer recalled joining her close friend on stage. ‘That’s the first time that Tony said my name in a long time.’
‘I had to keep it together because we had a sold-out show and I have a job to do. But I’ll tell you when I walked out on that stage and he said, “It’s Lady Gaga.” My friend saw me. It was very special.’
First met: Bennett and Gaga first crossed paths in 2011 while attending the Robin Hood Foundation gala in NYC; seen in March 2022 in NYC
Last public performance: His last public performance was also with Gaga. The two reunited at Radio City Music Hall in NYC in August 2021 for the One Last Time concert
During her interview with People in 2014, Gaga also revealed that Tony had a very big role in a tattoo that she has on her upper right arm.
‘I asked Tony to draw me a trumpet, and he sketched me Miles Davis’ trumpet,’ she recalled to the outlet.
‘Then I had it tattooed with his last name, Benedetto, underneath. Just so I would always remember this time together.’
Just weeks before his passing, Tony was seen in a wheelchair in NYC’s Central Park in images and videos obtained by DailyMail.com. He could be seen wearing a striped polo shirt as well as a pair of blue trousers.
A source explained that the New York State Of Mind hitmaker went mainly unnoticed by other individuals who were in the park at the same time.
Special moments: During an interview with 60 Minutes , the actress and singer recalled joining her close friend on stage. ‘That’s the first time that Tony said my name in a long time’; the two seen in 2019 in Las Vegas
Always will remember: ‘I asked Tony to draw me a trumpet, and he sketched me Miles Davis’ trumpet,’ she recalled to People in 2014
Last seen: Just weeks before his passing, Tony was seen in a wheelchair in NYC’s Central Park in images and videos obtained by DailyMail.com
‘Blessed’: His wife, Susan, told People, ‘Benedetto, his family name, which I made my own when we married, means “the blessed one.” And I was most certainly blessed to have Tony in my life’
A makeup artist who was close to Bennett’s home also told DailyMail.com that only a few weeks before his death, she had seen the singer being pushed in a wheelchair by a caregiver and stated that ‘he was smiling but you knew he was not all there.’
The singer, who was married three times, is survived by his third spouse, Susan Benedetto, and his four children, two sons and two daughters, from his two previous marriages.
Susan, who tied the knot with Tony in 2007, recently told People, ‘Benedetto, his family name, which I made my own when we married, means “the blessed one.” And I was most certainly blessed to have Tony in my life.’
Once news of his death had surfaced, a number of fans and celebrities jumped to social media to share tributes to the singer, including Alec Baldwin, Brooke Shields, Christina Aguilera, and also Michael Bublé.
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