Lady Gaga can vouch for Tony Bennett as a friend, a collaborator, and an inspiration. And if Gaga has a say in it, Bennett should also be respected as a “remarkable human being” for his civil rights action and mastery of jazz.
On Tuesday night (Nov. 23), Gaga stopped by The Last Show for a chat with its host Stephen Colbert.
When conversation shifted to Bennett, Gaga shifted gears.
“He is a remarkable human being, he served our country, he also marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., he used to sneak Duke Ellington into the back of hotels to play jazz music all night long,” she recounted. “His commitment to civil rights, and to humanity, is something that he has taught me from a young age to take with me in all that I do. I love him very deeply.”
Gaga knows all the best Bennett stories. She idolized the veteran singer from a young age, and a dynamic duo was formed when the pair cut Cheek to Cheek in 2014. The album went to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and won a Grammy Award for best traditional pop vocal album.
It was merely an entrée. Earlier this year, the pair reunited for their second and final collaborative covers album, Love For Sale, a collection of jazz standards by American composer Cole Porter.
The LP, explains Gaga, was the culmination of a promise made to Bennett back when Cheek to Cheek was blowing up around the world.
Love For Sale went to No. 1 on Billboard’s jazz charts and Top 10 on the all-genre Billboard 200, but will be the last studio recording for Bennett, who is now battling with Alzheimer’s disease.
“When jazz begins,” explains Gaga, holding back tears, “this man lights up in a way that is such magic.”
Music, she explained, has the power to help and heal in the most challenging of scenarios.
For anyone whose family member is presenting with Alzheimer’s, says Gaga, “music is magic. Music is a miracle.”
Watch the clip below.
TONIGHT! The incomparable @LadyGaga speaks from the heart about her special relationship with @itstonybennett. Tune in tonight for a performance by Tony and the woman he calls "Lady" ❤️ #LSSC pic.twitter.com/FePsBezCz7
— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) November 24, 2021
The pair also performed “Anything Goes,” lifted from Love For Sale, which snagged six nominations at the 2022 Grammy Awards.