Lady Gaga shares emotional tribute to Tony Bennett

▶ Watch Video: Tony Bennett, Grammy-winning singer, dies at 96

Lady Gaga honored her longtime friend, Tony Bennett, with a moving post on Instagram early Monday. The legendary crooner died on July 21 at the age of 96.

The lengthy post, paired with a photo of the two stars in an embrace, began: “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. Tony & I had this magical power,” the post 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.”

Their friendship spanned more than a decade, and the two recorded Grammy award-winning albums together — 2014’s “Cheek to Cheek” and 2021’s “Love for Sale.”

“Though there were 5 decades between us, he was my friend,” she wrote in the post. “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.”

As much as Bennett taught Lady Gaga about show business and music, she said he taught her even more about life.

“‘Straight ahead,’ he’d say. He was an optimist, he believed in quality work AND quality life,” she added. “Plus, there was the gratitude…Tony was always grateful.”

Bennett’s last public concerts were held with Lady Gaga at New York’s Radio City Music Hall in celebration of his 95th birthday in 2021.

In early 2021, Bennett revealed in an AARP magazine article that he had Alzheimer’s disease. Lady Gaga told “60 Minutes” that watching him decline was more emotional than anything else.

“It’s hard to watch somebody change,” she told Anderson Cooper. “I think what’s been beautiful about this and what’s been challenging is to see how it affects him in some ways but to see how it doesn’t affect his talent. I think he really pushed through something to give the world the gift of knowing things can change and you can still be magnificent.”

“When that music comes on … something happens to him,” she said. “He knows exactly what he’s doing.”

She echoed that sentiment on her new Instagram post, writing it was “painful” losing Bennett, but it was also “really beautiful.” The singer and actor offered a bit of advice for others who may lose loved ones to Alzheimer’s: “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,” she wrote. “Take care of your elders and I promise you will learn something special. Maybe even magical.”

She finished her post, “I love you Tony. Love, Lady.”

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