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Lady Gaga Pens Emotional Tribute To ‘Friend Forever’ Tony Bennett

By Jake Beardslee · July 31, 2023

In brief…

  • Lady Gaga shared an emotional Instagram post mourning the loss of her musical partner and close friend, Tony Bennett.
  • She reflected on Bennett's life lessons to always stay optimistic and grateful.
  • Gaga urged readers not to neglect elders.
  • As Bennett's memory faded due to Alzheimer's, he remained committed to his friendship with Gaga.
Lady Gaga & Tony Bennett during their Cheek to Cheek Tour in Las Vegas.  Sarah Lou/Wikimedia Commons/CC by 2.0

Legendary singer Tony Bennett, known for hits like “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” passed away July 21st at age 96. His musical partner and close friend, Lady Gaga, took to Instagram this morning to share a heartfelt message about their bond and to honor Bennett’s life and legacy

“I will miss my friend forever. I will miss singing with him, recording with him, talking with him, being on stage together,” Gaga wrote. She reflected on the “magical power” of making music together and their ability to transport themselves “to another era” while modernizing and revitalizing the jazz standards on which they famously collaborated. 

Beyond their musical hit-making, Gaga said their relationship was profoundly personal, with Bennett showing her “how to keep my spirits high and my head screwed on straight.” She noted his eternal optimism and ethos - to always be grateful - in a life shaped by events like serving in WWII and marching with Martin Luther King Jr

According to Gaga, Bennett’s recent decline due to Alzheimer’s disease was “painful but also really beautiful.” She said she treasured their musical moments together. Even as his memory faded, Bennett was determined to show her his love, gratitude and friendship. 

“Don’t discount your elders, don’t leave them behind when things change,” Gaga urged readers, sharing lessons she said she learned from Bennett. “Pay attention to silence—some of my musical partner and I’s most meaningful exchanges were with no melody at all.”

She concluded, “I love you Tony. Love, Lady.” Her poignant tribute offers a glimpse into a powerful bond that transcended generations and genres. As Gaga grieves, she remains intent on keeping Bennett’s spirit and outlook alive.