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Lady Gaga’s tribute to Tony Bennett gives much needed lesson


Shutterstock | Liam Goodner

Cerith Gardiner - published on 08/02/23

After the death of her friend, the singer movingly spoke of their time together and how we should all look out for our elders.

After the recent death of her friend 96-year-old Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga has written a moving tribute to the crooner, while imparting a very important message to us all.

She began her lengthy Instagram post (which is worth reading in its entirety) talking about her professional relationship with Bennett, saying:

“I will miss my friend forever. I will miss singing with him, recording with him, talking with him, being on stage together,” adding, “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.”

Lady Gaga then went on to share the impact Bennett’s outlook on life had on her personally:

“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 … 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,” the pop star continued.

Lady Gaga continued to talk about how she and Bennett had developed a deep friendship while he lived with Alzheimer’s — a friendship that saw the 37-year-old singer support Bennett, who was nearly 60 years her senior, on stage for his final live performance.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Tony Bennett (@itstonybennett)

The “Shallow” singer also addressed the reality of loving someone who is slowly losing themselves to the neurodegenerative disease.

“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.”

While her words show the depth of love and admiration she shared for Bennett, her final comment is something we should all consider in our lives when caring for our seniors:

If I could say anything to the world about this I would say don’t 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’s and my most meaningful exchanges were with no melody at all.

Inspiring storiesLady GagaSeniors
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