Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett
Source: Getty Images

How did Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett Meet? A Look Into The Jazz Duo's Lasting Friendship

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Oct. 4 2021, Published 2:40 p.m. ET

Little Monsters know that Mother Monster, aka Lady Gaga, knows her way around several genres of music, not to mention a piano.

Though much of the Academy Award winner and 12-time Grammy winner's career has centered around hyper-pop music, sometimes being quite experimental (hi, Artpop), musical endeavors Joanne and Cheek to Cheek beg to differ.

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The latter was a 2014 duet album Gaga created alongside jazz legend Tony Bennett. The New Yorker jazz duo may seem like an unlikely pair, but Gaga is a classically trained versatile musician, which is something Tony can get on board with.

Now, with their second collaboration, their duet album, Love for Sale, under their belts, it's pretty obvious that the duo has formed a heartwarming friendship over the last decade. But how exactly did Gaga and Tony meet?

tony bennett lady gaga
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Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga in 2015.

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How did Grammy-winning musicians Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett initially meet?

Let's take things back to 2011. It was then that Gaga performed at the Robin Hood Foundation charity gala, oblivious to the fact that Tony Bennett was in the audience.

"When we were there, I sang a jazz song, ‘Orange Colored Sky.’” Gaga told People. "Tony heard me sing it, and he asked to meet me after the show. And I said, ‘Oh my gosh! Tony Bennett’s here!’" Understandably, the "Stupid Love" singer relayed that she was "so nervous." She was in the presence of a music GOD.

“I fixed my hair, and my mom was fixing her makeup, and then we went back to meet him. He said, ‘Do you want to do a jazz album together?’ And I said, ‘Yes, of course I do!’” she continued. And the rest is history.

Before recording their album Cheek to Cheek, which won the 2015 Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album, the two recorded a cover of Richard Rodgers' 1937 song “The Lady is a Tramp” for Tony's 2011 album, Duets II.

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Lady Gaga even has a Tony Bennett-designed tattoo on her arm.

Gaga, once a student at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, looks up to the "I Left My Heart In San Francisco" singer so much so that she had him sketch one of her now-famous tattoos.

“I asked Tony to draw me a trumpet, and he sketched me Miles Davis’s trumpet. Then I had it tattooed with his last name, Benedetto, underneath. Just so I would always remember this time together," she explained.

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Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett Performing at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards
Source: Getty Images

Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett Performing at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards

Their musical friendship, which boasts a 60-year age gap, has blossomed throughout the years. But sadly, Tony has had to slow things down as of late. Tony's family announced earlier this year that the singer was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease back in 2016.

Considering Tony was already showing signs of significant change in 2018, two years after his diagnosis, his wife, Susan Crow, wasn't sure if he could record another full album with Gaga. “We'll try. That's all I can tell you. We'll try," Susan remembered stating.

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Incredibly, the 95-year-old was able to finish the album, Love for Sale, all with the patient and empathetic Gaga by his side. Lady Gaga has stated that Love for Sale will be their last album together.

"It was a gift," she said regarding the album. "It's a gift that I will hold in my heart 'til my last breath. My time with Tony has changed me forever. Frank Sinatra said he was the best singer in the world and I don't think Frank lied."

She further spoke about Love for Sale's emotionally-taxing recording process. "It's hard to even talk about," she began. "It's important during times like this to be authentic and share the pain of the realities of what it's like to have a loved one have Alzheimer's or dementia. I really extend my heart to people who are going through a similar situation." We'll be keeping Tony and his family in our thoughts.

Love for Sale is available for streaming and purchase now.

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