‘He’s my musical companion’: Lady Gaga salutes, duets with Tony Bennett ‘One Last Time’

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NEW YORK – Two of New York’s best entertainers cast a spell on one of the city’s most iconic stages.

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Tony Bennett And Lady Gaga came together at Radio City Music Hall last August for “One Last Time”, the first of two farewells featuring longtime friends and collaborators in the lead-up to their second joint album, “love for Sale.” A TV special made up of two shows, “One Last Time: An Evening with Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga” Airs Sunday (CBS, 8 ET/PT).

The seemingly impossible duo first met in 2011 and released a jazz album, “cheek to cheek,” in 2014. Since then, Gaga has released two solo efforts, including last year’s “chromatica” and won the Oscar for Best Original Song for “Shallow” from 2018’s “A Star Is Born.” Meanwhile, Bennett recorded two other duet albums with Bill Charlap and Diana Krall. He revealed in February that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.


Bennett, 95, was diagnosed with the disease in 2016, a day before the performance. But the musical legend was as playful and charismatic as ever, as he performed a nearly half-hour solo set for a sold-out Radio City crowd, giving a standing ovation after nearly every song he played. Set-list highlights included “Steppin’ Out with My Baby,” “Fly Me to the Moon” and “Last Night When We Were Young”, as Bennett poignantly described “Weapons When We Were Last Night”. were small.”

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The jazz icon’s “This Is All I Ask” was equally sentimental, especially when Bennett noted the ballad’s haunting final lines: “And let the music go on as long as there’s a song to sing / And I spring from I’ll be small.” Throughout his set, Bennett stood on a piano center stage and rarely spoke, other than “thank you,” “wow” and “wow” in between songs. But his frequent kisses on the air and showing his thumb to the audience was a sign that he knew how much he was loved.

Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga's upcoming album cover

Gaga, 35, sweetly acted as both the MC and the promotional lady during the one-and-a-half-hour concert. The pop star opened for Bennett with a brazen theatrical performance, which included two spectacular costume changes as she shook, hesitated, and bent over the stage in full lounge singer mode.

Making fun of some of her mishaps on stage at night, Gaga declared, “So far, I’ve called Tony Bennett ‘Tony Benny,’ and my hair is falling out. Things can only get better. Better.”

The chameleon singer was both sultry and honest during her standards-filled set, charmingly playing bandmates as well as audience members, some of whom took to the stage to help evoke the show’s jazz club vibe. were sitting at the table. She talks at length about her imaginary funeral, beginning “Coquette”, stating that she wants to be cremated. (“I’ve already bought my vase. What if I go and someone gives me a perm and puts me in a pink dress or something [expletive]?”) He also dedicated a provocative “What a Difference a Day Makes” to the brave frontline doctors and nurses.

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One of the undeniable highlights of the night was Gaga’s extraordinary one-two punch of “La Vie en Rose”, which she famously sang in “A Star Is Born” and “New York, New York”, which she sang in Bennett mid-performance. . She dedicated a heartfelt one to her sister, fashion designer Natalie Germanotta, whom she brought to tears by running through the audience and singing straight to her.

“Sorry, I had to sing to my sister for a second,” Gaga apologized after literally climbing back on stage. “Few things are more important than showbiz.”

“New York, New York,” was also filled with excitement, as Gaga wore a top hat and the cheering crowd sang along to the clapping New Yorkers.

“Start spreading the news / It’s Tony Bennett’s birthday,” she sang in her fabulous neck belt, “He’s my friend. He’s my musical partner. He’s the greatest singer in the whole world.”

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After leading Radio City in a tender “Happy Birthday” song, Gaga performed three tunes with Bennett at the end of the night: “The Lady Is a Tramp,” “Anything Goes” and “It Don’t Mean a Thing”. (If it’s not that swing).” He concluded the concert with a beautiful rendition of his 1962 classic “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.”

“You’ve been a good audience. I love this audience,” Bennett said just before his encore.

“And another round of applause for Mr. Tony Bennett,” Gaga said respectfully, bowing to her friend and giving her a kiss on the cheek, before walking hand-in-hand from the stage.

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