AceShowbiz - Lady Gaga has promised to keep "celebrating" Tony Bennett. The "Alejandro" hitmaker penned a tribute on what would have been the 97th birthday of her late friend and collaborator - who died last month following a long battle with Alzheimer's - on Thursday, August 3 by declaring it a "day for smiling," but insisted she will be honouring the legendary entertainer more than just once a year.
"Happy Birthday Tony. August 3rd is Tony Bennett Day. A day for smiling. But I'll be celebrating you a lot more than once a year. I'll celebrate you every time I'm on stage singing jazz music, every time I'm with your family, every time I walk down the streets of New York I'll look around and remember all you did for this city and the whole world (sic)," she wrote on Instagram.
A few days ago, Gaga broke her silence on the death of Tony - with whom she made two albums, "Cheek to Cheek" in 2014 and 2021's "Love For Sale", as well as appearing on his 2011 record "Duets II" - in a heartfelt post reflecting on their "magical power" together.
She wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of them embracing, "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, and 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. 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 (sic)."
Tony had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2016, which meant Gaga had been able to say a "very long and powerful" goodbye to the veteran entertainer and she insisted the 59-year age gap between them had never mattered.
She continued, "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 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. 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 (sic)."