How did Lady Gaga pay tribute to her longtime friend and collaborator, Tony Bennett?
by Ana Walia | Mon, 04 Apr 2022 16:40:27 GMT
Lady Gaga during her performance at the 64th annual Grammy Awards. Image Source: Printveela 

The 64th annual Grammy Awards held at at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Sunday on April 3rd, 2022 witnessed some of the iconic moments of the Grammys which includes a special tribute from a friend to her long time pal and collaborator. Trevor Noah returned as the host of the show after hosting the ceremony in 2021 as well.

Lady Gaga, who was present at the ceremony, performed an emotional tribute to her longtime friend and Grammy icon Tony Bennett. After being introduced by Tony Bennett himself in a pre-recorded video, Lady Gaga took over the stage to perform "Do I Love You" and "Love For Sale."

In his introduction to Lady Gaga, Tony urged everyone to welcome the singer on stage, and then Lady Gaga appeared on stage. The video screen at the back showcased the footage of Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett working in the studio while recording the album. After the performance, Lady Gaga said, "I love you, Tony." She was met with a standing ovation by the audience for her brilliant performance.

At the Grammys this year, Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett’s album, "Love For Sale," was nominated in several categories, including Album of the Year, Best Pop Duo/Group, and Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. The duo won the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album award, and with winning this award, Tony Bennett became the second oldest Grammy winner in the history of Grammy awards. The album is a tribute to composer and songwriter Cole Porter.

Due to his health condition, Tony Bennett decided not to join Lady Gaga at the 64th annual Grammy Awards. Tony Bennett’s son, Dae, shared in a statement that although the producers had invited both Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett to perform at the 64th annual Grammy Awards, but Tony would not be able to join the singer for her performance due to his struggle with Alzheimer’s. Dad added that he feels grateful that Lady Gaga had decided to represent both of them on stage and had no doubt that she would not be able to make his presence felt.

Tony Bennett revealed his Alzheimer’s diagnosis in 2021 and announced his retirement from performing. Dae had mentioned that Tony Bennett would be cheering for both of them from the comfort of his house in New York City. Lady Gaga had shared her experience of working and creating music with close friend Tony Bennett and mentioned that she had had the best time working with a friend.

Lady Gaga added that there is a certain type of joy, a joy that has been missing from the music that we all listen to today, and that makes it extra special for her to get into the studio and work on music that has joy. She added that she gets the nectar of happiness that the world does not get to hear or see all the time. Talking about jazz music, Lady Gaga said that she wants young kids to listen to jazz music because they need to know about music that should be coveted so sacredly forever. The singer hopes to inspire a new generation of jazz lovers across the world.

Talking about Tony’s health, Lady Gaga said that it's hard to see someone so close to you change but what's been beautiful about Tony's Alzheimer's is that it affects him in some ways but not his talent. Lady Gaga added that she believes that the legendary singer pushed himself through something to give the world the gift of being able to witness that even though things can change but you can still be magnificent.

Grammy producer Ken Ehrlich shared with The New York Post that Tony Bennett has been a part of the Grammys for several years and described him as a sweet, lovely guy who was great to work with. He further added that Tony's spirit is what Grammys are all about and the way he has managed to embrace people and other artists from across generations with his music makes him a Grammy gold. Ken concluded that he has really done all of that in his life so many people would love to sing or even meet him and that is what makes him Tony Bennett.

View this post on Instagram

The singers have previously collaborated several times over the years, as Lady Gaga appeared on Tony Bennett’s "Duets II" album in 2011 and released a joint album in 2014 titled "Cheek to Cheek". Both albums earned Grammys, respectively. As a part of the celebration of Tony Bennett's 95th birthday, Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett hosted two performances at New York's Radio City Music Hall in August 2021. The shows aired on CBS as part of a special called One Last Time: An Evening With Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga.