Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga’s brand-new album Love For Sale, a collection of Cole Porter duets, offers fresh evidence that the 95-year-old crooner remains a vocal marvel, delivering his signature charm and sincerity across tunes from the romantic “Night and Day” to the swinging “Just One of Those Things.”
“You can’t get a better composer than Cole Porter,” Bennett says of his 61st studio album. “And there is no one better to sing with than Lady Gaga.”
Tony Bennett has never been more relevant. He and the pop star are teaming for a trio of specials in upcoming months. One Last Time: An Evening with Lady Gaga & Tony Bennett, airing Nov. 28 on CBS, cherry-picks two New York shows in August that marked Bennett’s 95th birthday. MTV Unplugged: Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga, taped before a small studio audience and airing later this winter, showcases Love For Sale selections. A documentary, The Lady and the Legend, chronicling their friendship and musical partnership, will stream on Paramount+ in 2022. And the American Ballet Theater’s ZigZag production in October celebrates Bennett’s career using his songs and artwork.
Yet 82 years after he started out as a singing waiter in Queens, Bennett is finally slowing down. Love For Sale is his final studio album, and the recent sellouts at Radio City Music Hall were farewell concerts. On doctor’s orders, he will no longer take the stage.
In February, Bennett’s family shared the news with AARP that he had been diagnosed with dementia in 2016. Going forward, fans may see less of Bennett in the public spotlight. That doesn’t mean this American Songbook superhero will fade from public memory. Here are the top eight reasons Tony Bennett will never leave our hearts.
He’s the singer’s singer
With a smooth tenor, unmatched interpretive skills, masterful phrasing and a command of genres from swing and jazz to contemporary pop and show tunes, Bennett became the ultimate singer’s singer. Bing Crosby dubbed him “the best singer I’ve ever heard,” and Frank Sinatra said, “For my money, Tony Bennett is the best singer in the business. [He] gets across what the composer had in mind, and probably a little more.”