In August 2021, while battling Alzheimer’s disease, Bennett, who died Friday at 96, made his final public appearance on that same stage, again with Lady Gaga. He once again showed strength and resilience, this time by simply acting. Touching “60 Minutes” segment. captured Bennett’s struggles in rehearsals but his ultimate triumph when he took the stage. On the run, Gaga said, “He called me ‘sweetie.’ But I wasn’t sure he knew who I was.” She witnessed a startling transformation, however, as the band struck the opening notes of another song and Bennett began to sing.

“When the music starts, something happens to him,” she said. “He knows exactly what he’s doing.”

This is the final act of an unlikely collaboration that changed the trajectory of each musician’s career. When Gaga first linked up with Bennett for “Cheek to Cheek,” some skeptics saw it as nothing more than a shrewd distraction, a way for a wild pop instigator to rebrand as a throwback jazz singer after her first major flop, the redundant (if, in retrospect, somewhat underrated) “Art Pop 2013.” But the fondness, respect and musical intelligence she brought to her work with Bennett has undoubtedly won her fans and the respect of an older generation of listeners. As I walked out of Radio City that night in 2015, I couldn’t keep track of how many people I heard muttering versions of, “I had no idea Lady Gaga could actually. to sing!”

Bennett was also no stranger to politically timed reinvention. He stormed MTV when he was in his late 60s, recording an “Unplugged” album that featured collaborations with Elvis Costello and CD Lang, and that later won him a Grammy for album of the year. He sang with more eclectic and, in some cases, even younger musicians in his series of “Duets” albums, from 2006 to 2012. He found a kindred spirit in Amy Winehouse, but their connection was short-lived. Their excellent rendition of “Body and Soul”, for “Duets II”, was the last thing she ever recorded. It was released as a single posthumously, on what would have been Winehouse’s 28th birthday.

Gaga satisfied Bennett’s desire to remain active and involved with a younger generation of musicians, and her professional stability made her the most committed of his duet partners. But Gaga also said Bennett’s mentorship “saved” her life. The example of the then octogenarian allowed her to think beyond the successes or failures of the present moment, and to assess the longevity of a musical career. “I was so sad. I couldn’t sleep. I felt dead,” Gaga said of the time before “Cheek to Cheek.” “And then I spent a lot of time with Tony. He wanted nothing but my friendship and my voice.”

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *