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Lady Gaga was in tears after paying a moving tribute to her friend Tony Bennett.
The singer, who was introduced by the music icon during the Grammys on Sunday in a pre-recorded video, performed “Do I Love You” and “Love for Sale” alongside a big band arrangement.
After her heartfelt performance, which was paired with a video montage of the pair sharing the stage, the singer, whose birth name is Stefani Germanotta, sat on the edge of the stage and cried.
“I love you, Tony, I miss you,” said the 36-year-old, who was greeted by a standing ovation from the crowd.
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The 95-year-old revealed he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2021. The crooner retired a few months later. Bennett and Gaga have been nominated for five Grammys this year, including Album of the Year and Traditional Pop Vocal Album for “Love for Sale.”
Bennett’s son, Danny, told Variety in a statement on Friday that his famous father would not be joining his beloved duet partner for his Grammys performance.
“Although the producers invited Tony and Gaga to perform on Sunday’s Grammys show, it is unfortunate that due to his ongoing battle with Alzheimer’s disease, he was unable to accept,” wrote he shared at the time. “It has been decided that it would be appropriate for Lady Gaga to perform alone to represent both.”
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“There’s no doubt she’ll deliver an impeccable performance of ‘Love for Sale’, which is Tony’s latest album,” Danny said. “He’ll be cheering him on as he watches from his home in New York.”
Bennett achieved his first pop success in the early 1950s. He enjoyed a career revival in the 1990s and became popular with young audiences in part through an appearance on “MTV Unplugged”. He continued to record and tour constantly, and his 2014 collaboration with Lady Gaga, “Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga: Cheek to Cheek,” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts.
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A beloved performer of American standards, Bennett’s chart-topping career spans seven decades.
“He’s not the old Tony anymore,” his wife, Susan, told AARP The Magazine in February 2021. “But when he sings, he’s the old Tony.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.