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Lady Gaga Pens Emotional Tribute to Late Friend Tony Bennett on Instagram

Lady Gaga is honoring the memory of a "real true friend" with a moving tribute on Instagram.

On Monday, the 37-year-old star shared a photo of her friend and musical partner, Tony Bennett, hugging her in a dressing room. Lady Gaga penned an emotional letter to the iconic singer, who recently passed away at 96. She wrote, "I will miss my friend forever. I will miss singing with him, recording with him, talking with him, being on stage together."

"With Tony, I got to live my life in a time warp," she continued. "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. But it wasn't an act. Our relationship was very real."

The duo became fast friends after they met in 2011, when Gaga performed Nat King Cole's "Orange Colored Sky" at the Robin Hood Foundation Gala in New York. That same year, the pair worked together on Bennett's Duets II album, which marked the first of several collaborations.

After Duets II, Gaga and Bennett recorded two Grammy-winning albums together: Cheek to Cheek, released in 2014, and Love for Sale, which dropped in 2021.

lady gaga tony bennett 2
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Throughout the years, Gaga revealed that Bennett taught her a lot about music and show business, but he also showed her "how to keep my spirits high and my head screwed on straight." She wrote, "'Straight ahead,' he'd say. He was an optimist, he believed in quality work AND quality life. Plus, there was the gratitude...Tony was always grateful."

In 2021, Bennett revealed that he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2016. Still, the jazz legend continued to tour and record as his illness slowly progressed. Gaga wrote, “I’ve been grieving the loss of Tony for a long time. We had a very long and powerful goodbye.”

tony bennett and lady gaga
Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Gaga also confirmed that they remained close despite their age gap. She said, "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."

Gaga went on to explain what it was like to lose Bennett to Alzheimer’s. She added, "All I 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. I'll never forget this experience. I'll never forget Tony Bennett."

Alexa, please play Tony Bennett on Spotify.

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Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Nakeisha has been interviewing celebrities and covering all things entertainment for over 8 years, but she has also written on a wide range of topics, like career...