Lady Gaga Pays Tribute to Her 'Real True Friend' Tony Bennett: 'I Love You Tony'

Last week, the music world was met with the sad news of Tony Bennett’s death at the age of 96.

via: People

Lady Gaga is paying tribute to Tony Bennett.

“I will miss my friend forever,” the singer, 37, reflected Monday in an emotional Instagram post showing the pair hugging in a dressing room.

“I will miss singing with him, recording with him, talking with him, being on stage together,” added Gaga about Bennett, who died on July 21 at the age of 96.

“With Tony, I got to live my life in a time warp. Tony & I had this magical power,” she continued. “We transported ourselves to another era, modernized the music together, & gave it all new life as a singing duo. But it wasn’t an act. Our relationship was very real.”

As well as teaching her about music and showbiz, Gaga said that Bennett “showed me how to keep my spirits high and my head screwed on straight.”

“He was an optimist, he believed in quality work AND quality life. Plus, there was the gratitude…Tony was always grateful,” she shared, before noting the personal milestones in Bennett’s life of him marching with Martin Luther King Jr. and serving in WWII.

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

Moving onto the cause of Bennett’s death, Gaga added that “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. All I wanted was for Tony to remember how much I loved him and how grateful I was to have him in my life,” she continued. “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,” Gaga wrote in reflection. “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 and I’s most meaningful exchanges were with no melody at all,” she added, before signing off, “I love you Tony. Love, Lady.”

Gaga previously described becoming “fast friends” with Bennett when they first met after she performed at the Robin Hood Foundation charity gala in 2011.

Speaking to PEOPLE in 2016 about their initial meeting, Bennett said, “Ever since then, we’ve just been close. We just love performing with one another.”

In 2011, he and Gaga collaborated for the first time on a cover of “The Lady Is a Tramp” from Babes in Arms for his album Duets II. Three years later, the duo released their first collaborative album, Cheek to Cheek.

The singers last performed together in Aug. 2021 at Radio City Music Hall for their “One Last Time: An Evening With Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga” concert.

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