Moments Between Tony Bennett And Lady Gaga That Will Make You Cry

Famed singer Tony Bennett has sadly passed as of July 21, 2023. The American vocalist was 96 years old and is considered one of the greatest contemporary jazz musicians of all time. Born in 1926, Anthony Benedetto grew up studying music and art — knowing from a young age that he was meant to be a performer (via Britannica).

The "Great American Songbook" musician saw a resurgence of success in the '80s, paying homage to many of his peers with iconic renditions of Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, and Duke Ellington's finest tunes. Bennett continued to make music well into his golden years, and his album "Duets II" became number one on the Billboard charts in 2011. At 85 years old, this made him the oldest living artist to ever achieve this accomplishment.

In addition to his twenty Grammy awards, two Primetime Emmy awards, and various other accolades, the iconic bard had a genuine friendship with Lady Gaga. Bennett was known for embracing the newer generation of vocalists, collaborating with young songstresses such as Amy Winehouse and, famously, Gaga. Bennett and the "Born This Way" singer, whom he affectionately called "Lady," shared a special bond. The duo recorded two joint albums, "Cheek to Cheek" (2014) and "Love for Sale" (2021), performed at Presidential inaugurations, and even went on tour together.

Gaga's heartfelt tribute to Tony at the Grammy's

Bennett has famously claimed that Gaga is the Picasso of the entertainment world (via Elle). The "Applause" star equally holds the golden vocalist in the highest regard. As his devoted protegé, Gaga shared that Bennett helped her realize the power of her voice beyond pop, which was where she had already earned her markings.

"The fact that Tony sees me as a natural-born jazz singer is still something that I haven't gotten over," Gaga told AARP. At the 2022 Grammy Awards, she was honored to perform a tribute to his seventy-year career. Gaga began the show with a solo rendition of the leading duet from their second album, "Love for Sale."

As she continued singing, a montage of videos showcasing their moments together played on the screen behind her. The videos showcase home footage of the two sharing special moments in the studio together. At the end of her performance, Gaga got emotional as she sent out a message to her mentor. "I love you, Tony, we miss you," she said (via People).

When Tony recognized Gaga for the first time in weeks

Despite his struggle with Alzheimer's since 2016, Bennett continued performing until he was 95. In 2021, Bennett announced that his final performance would be at Radio City Music Hall for his 95th birthday. The special, titled "One Last Time: An Evening with Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga," aired on CBS.

Gaga introduced her dear Tony: "He's my friend. He's my musical companion. And he's the greatest singer in the whole world. And I'm counting on you, New York, to make him smile." Bennett went on to sing some of his greatest hits during the special. When Gaga returned on stage for their duet, she called out, "Hey Tony," to which he responded, "Woah, Lady Gaga!"

Her dear friend recognizing her was all she needed. Keeling over with laughter and delight, Gaga and Bennett went on to sing their duet for a final time. "That's the first time Tony said my name in a long time," Gaga revealed during the CBS 60 Minutes Special. "I had to keep it together because we had a sold-out show, and I had a job to do. But I'll tell you, when I walked out on that stage, and he said, 'Lady Gaga,' my friend saw me, and it was very special."

Tony's sweet message to Gaga after her Oscar nominations

In 2019, Gaga was coming off the high of total entertainment domination. The critically acclaimed album for her accompanying musical film, "A Star Is Born," was also released. Memorable songs from the film include "Always Remember Us This Way," "Look What I Found," and "Shallow," which she sang alongside Bradley Cooper.

"Shallow" famously reached number one on the Billboard charts. The hit film also earned Gaga two Academy Award nominations: "Best Actress" and "Best Original Song." But of all the praise she received, there was no doubt that Tony's congratulations was all she needed.

In a heartfelt tweet, Bennett wrote: "Dear Lady — I always knew you could do anything at the highest level of artistry. Congratulations on your Oscar nominations! Love, Tony." Ever the supporter, Bennett even shared a message of encouragement on Facebook after seeing the movie in theaters. The caption of their photo together reads: "I saw 'A Star is Born' last night and 'Lady' you were absolutely wonderful!"

Tony and Gaga reminisce on recording their albums together

While Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett faced challenges while recording their second album, "Love For Sale," in 2020, it was a magical time for them both. In a behind-the-scenes look at their recording process, Bennett said of their time in the studio: "She's got so much talent that the minute we're together, something very good happens between the two of us."

"I'm having the best time recording the music. It's a joy," Gaga gushed. "I think it's a joy that's missing in a lot of music today, and so it's extra special for me that I get to come into the studio and sing these songs because I feel like I'm getting the nectar of happiness that the world doesn't get to hear or see all the time."

According to Tony's wife, Susan Benedetto, his Alzeihmer's was already apparent when he began recording with Gaga for a second time, per AARP. The recording process was extremely emotional for Gaga as she watched Bennett struggle with his disease firsthand. "It's hard to even talk about," she told USA Today. "I love him so much. I miss him all the time, I pray for him all the time. I pray for his wife, Susan Benedetto, his sons, his family. I care very deeply for him."

Gaga and Tony had each other's back

Tony Bennett always showed support for Lady Gaga, even during her solo endeavors. The friends went on tour together in 2015 to promote their first joint album, "Cheek to Cheek," per Variety. However, this was just the beginning of their on-stage magic. Bennett joined Gaga as a special guest during her 2019 "Jazz & Piano" residency in Las Vegas, and she thanked him for his support. "You know this guy right here: When everyone was calling me a tramp, he was calling me a lady. We love you, Tony," she said on opening night (via Billboard).

Bennett was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2016, he first revealed to AARP. Despite his diagnosis, Bennett still made time for performances and to record with his "Lady." She was also kept in the loop regarding his health. Bennett's son and former manager, Danny Bennett, consulted Gaga on the decision to reveal his father's diagnosis to the world. 

"I wanted to check with [Lady Gaga] to make sure she was cool," Danny told AARP. "She watches his back all the time. She was like, 'Absolutely, it's just another gift that he can give to the world.'"