[Fox News] Lady Gaga shares heartfelt tribute to Tony Bennett: ‘I will miss my friend forever’

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Singer Lady Gaga shared a tributeon Instagram early Monday morning to her longtime collaborator Tony Bennett, who died earlier this month. He was 96.

In an Instagram post, Gaga said she 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,” Gaga wrote. “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 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.” 

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.”

LEGENDARY SINGER TONY BENNETT DEAD AT 96

Bennett’s publicist announced on July 21 that the legendary singer had died. And although a cause of death was not given, Bennett was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016. Still, Bennett continued performing in the recording studio and on tour. 

Among the performances in his later years, he headlined two shows with Lady Gaga at New York’s Radio City Music Hall in August 2021.

The late singer has received 20 Grammy Awards throughout his career, as well as a lifetime achievement honor in 2001. He earned his final Grammy in April 2022 for his work with Gaga on the album “Love for Sale,” which was his second acclaimed collaboration with her. Gaga performed the album’s title track “Love for Sale” solo as a tribute to Bennett during the 2022 ceremony after Bennett introduced her over video.

Gaga and Bennett performed their duet title track “Cheek to Cheek” at the 2015 Grammys. The performance concluded with Gaga kissing Bennett on the cheek. The two took home the award for best traditional pop vocal album that year.

The two performers first collaborated on “The Lady Is a Tramp” from Bennett’s 2011 “Duets II.”

“Though there were 5 decades between us, he was my friend. My real true friend,” Gaga wrote. “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 person’s 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,” Gaga said. “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.”

TONY BENNETT AND LADY GAGA: THE MUSIC DUO’S LEGENDARY COLLABORATION

Bennett has sold around 60 million records and has charted albums every decade since the 1950s.

“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,” Gaga concluded. “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.”

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