“I will miss singing with him, recording with him, talking with him, being on stage together,” Gaga wrote in a lengthy Instagram post on Sunday, alongside a photo of her hugging the late entertainer. “With Tony, I got to live my life in a time warp.”
“Tony & I had this magical power. We transported ourselves to another era, modernized the music together, & gave it all new life as a singing duo,” she explained. “But it wasnt 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.”
Gaga added that she’d “been grieving the loss of Tony for a long time,” given his Alzheimer’s diagnosis in 2016.
“We had a very long and powerful goodbye,” she said. “Though there were 5 decades between us, he was my friend. My real true friend.”
The “Born This Way” singer added that all she “wanted was for Tony to remember how much I loved him and how grateful I was to have him in my life.”
“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,” she said. “I’ll never forget this experience. I’ll never forget Tony Bennett.”
The entertainer signed off by telling her followers “don’t discount your elders” and “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,” she said. “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.”
“I love you Tony,” Gaga wrote in her powerful goodbye. “Love, Lady.”
Gaga and Bennett were frequent collaborators over the years. The duo recorded two Grammy-winning albums together: 2014’s “Cheek to Cheek” and 2021’s “Love for Sale.”
Gaga performed alongside Bennett at his last-ever public performance at Radio City Music Hall in 2021, in support of their last album together. She later said in a “60 Minutes” interview last year that she wasn’t sure if he recognized her, but he hardly ever forgot a lyric.
“When that music comes on — something happens to him,” Gaga said, adding, “He knows exactly what he’s doing.”