Lady Gaga breaks silence with emotional tribute to ‘real true friend’ Tony Bennett

Lady Gaga is mourning the loss of her “real true friend” and collaborator, Tony Bennett, who died on July 21 at the age of 96.

In a lengthy and deeply emotional post on Instagram, Gaga opened up about “grieving the loss of Tony for a long time” as she watched his quality of life deteriorate due to Alzheimer’s disease.

“I 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. 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 wasnt an act. Our relationship was very real.”

Gaga and Bennett first worked together in 2011 for Bennett’s Duets II where the two performed “The Lady is a Tramp.” After their collaboration they became close friends.

The two worked together again for her 2014 Cheek to Cheek album, and once again for the final time in 2021 for Bennett’s Love for Sale album, which earned him his final Grammy in 2022.

But their relationship wasn’t just about music, Gaga explained.

“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. He was an optimist, he believed in quality work AND quality life,” she wrote.

“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.”

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Gaga went on to detail how despite their age difference, the two friends constantly inspired each other.

“I’ve been grieving the loss of Tony for a long time. We had a very long and powerful goodbye.”

“Though there were 5 decades between us, he was my friend. My real true friend. 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 persons 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. 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.”

The 37-year-old performer ended her tribute with a powerful call to action, urging “the world” not to “discount your elders.”

“Don’t leave them behind when things change. 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.”

“I love you Tony. Love, Lady”


The relationship between Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett was like nothing we’ve ever seen. My heart breaks for all of Tony’s loved ones during this extremely difficult time. I hope they’re able to find some comfort and peace.