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Lady Gaga pays heartfelt tribute to late icon Tony Bennett: 'I will miss my friend forever'

The musical icon who had been battling Alzheimer's disease since 2016 passed away on July 21 in New York City at the age of 96.

Lady Gaga pays heartfelt tribute to late icon Tony Bennett: 'I will miss my friend forever'
Cover Image Source: Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, winners of Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for 'Cheek to Cheek,' during The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards at the STAPLES Center on February 8, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Im

Lady Gaga misses her dear friend and one of her greatest musical collaborators, Tony Bennett. The musical icon who had been battling Alzheimer's disease since 2016 passed away on July 21, 2023, in New York City at the age of 96.

Gaga took to Instagram this week to pen a lengthy, moving tribute to the legendary pop and jazz singer. "I will miss my friend forever. I will miss singing with him, recording with him, talking with him, being on stage together," the 37-year-old pop star wrote.

Recording Artists Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga perform onstage during The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards at the STAPLES Center on February 8, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for NARAS)
Image Source: Recording Artists Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga perform onstage during The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards at the STAPLES Center on February 8, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for NARAS)

"With Tony, I got to live my life in a time warp. Tony and 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," she continued. "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."

In this handout image provided by Patrick Beaudry,Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga jazzed it up at the Montreal Jazz Festival on July 1, 2014 in Montreal, Canada. Gaga surprised the crowd by joining Bennett on stage for a few numbers. The two are collaborating on a jazz album to be out later this year. (Photo by Patrick Beaudry via Getty Images)
In this handout image provided by Patrick Beaudry,Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga jazzed it up at the Montreal Jazz Festival on July 1, 2014 in Montreal, Canada. Gaga surprised the crowd by joining Bennett on stage for a few numbers. The two are collaborating on a jazz album to be out later this year. (Photo by Patrick Beaudry via Getty Images)

The "Born This Way" hitmaker went on to list all the traits she admired in Bennett. "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. Though there were 5 decades between us, he was my friend. My real true friend," Gaga wrote. "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."

The singer concluded her post with some valuable advice for her followers. "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," she shared.


 
 
 
 
 
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The singers shared a bond like no other and Gaga even got a tattoo sketched by Bennett. The duo's musical friendship started over a decade ago after meeting at a 2011 charity gala event, where Gaga performed "Orange Colored Sky." As their friendship grew, the "Bad Romance" singer was more than willing to get inked with a design made by her beloved friend.

Artists Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga attend a press conference about the album
Artists Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga attend a press conference about the album "cheek to cheek" at City Hall on September 22, 2014 in Brussels, Belgium. (Photo by Mark Renders/Getty Images)

According to PEOPLE, Gaga said back in 2014 that she had Bennett sketch one of her tattoos that year. "I asked Tony to draw me a trumpet, and he sketched me Miles Davis’ trumpet. Then I had it tattooed with his last name, Benedetto, underneath. Just so I would always remember this time together,” the "Poker Face" singer said. Gaga got that work of art tattooed on the inside of her right arm and just like that, Bennett's artistic creation permanently became a part of her. Now she'll forever have a piece of her beloved friend close to her.



 



 

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