On his 95th birthday, Tony Bennett, accompanied by Lady Gaga, left his heart on the stage of Radio City Musical Hall during the final performance of his life.
Six months following Bennett and his family revealing that he was suffering from Alzheimer’s, Bennett took to the Radio City Musical Hall stage for his last performances in New York City in early August with Lady Gaga.
Tony Bennett released his first album with Lady Gaga in 2014. Their latest collaboration, a Cole Porter tribute album titled “Love For Sale,” was released in October. It recently collected six Grammy nominations.
The rest of the world was able to view the sold-out show, on a TV special, “One Last Time: An Evening with Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga”. Bennett performed his classic “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” as well as “Fly Me To The Moon”, “Steppin’ Out With My Baby”, “Love For Sale” and “Anything Goes”.
Before Bennett took the stage Lady Gaga put her whole body and heart into belting out “New York, New York”. Pausing to talk about Bennet, Gaga teared up when remarking on Bennett.
“He’s my friend. He’s my musical companion. And he’s the greatest singer in the whole world. And I’m counting on you, New York, to make him smile. So you better cheer. You better yell. You better laugh. You better cry. You better give your soul.”
The crowd at Radio City Music Hall did not disappoint and held up their end of the bargain. Tony Bennett received his first standing ovation of the night before he even opened his mouth and continued to receive them throughout the whole evening.
Bennett’s family has shared that Bennet often does not know where he is or what is happening, but the legendary performer did not miss a beat when he took the stage. The family shared in a 60-minute special that they were unsure of how the show would play out. Tony’s wife, Susan, said that as soon as she saw Tony on stage, his eyes twinkling and arms outstretched toward the crowd, she knew everything would be alright.
When commenting on the performance, Gaga stated the following:
“It’s not a sad story. It’s emotional. It’s hard to watch somebody change. 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 that things can change, and you can still be magnificent.”
Be sure to check out this spectacular performance!
Published by HOLR Magazine.