Tony Bennett made history yesterday when he became the oldest artist (at 95 years old and change) to be nominated for the Grammy Award for Album Of The Year (or for any general field Grammy). That’s thanks to his and Lady Gaga’s latest collaborative album, Love For Sale, and last night, Gaga spoke about the album and her relationship with Bennett on The Late Show.
Gaga and Stephen Colbert wrapped up their lengthy chat by talking about Bennett, and while the tone of their conversation had been lighthearted and airy throughout, Gaga spoke with more emotion while discussing Bennett. Colbert asked what it’s like to be friends with Bennett and Gaga started by speaking about their relationship and Bennett’s character, saying, “I love Tony so much. He is my musical companion. I’m so close with his family, which of course includes his amazing wife Susan Benedetto. He is a remarkable human being. He served our country. He also marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He used to sneak Duke Ellington in the back of hotels to play jazz music all night long. His commitment to civil rights and to humanity is something that he has taught me from a young age, to take with me in all that I do.”
She then spoke about Bennett’s Alzheimer’s disease, how they came to record their new album, and the impact that music has on Bennett today:
“I love him very deeply, and watching him begin his journey with Alzheimer’s years ago, I remember I wanted to make good on a promise I made to him. Because our album Cheek To Cheek went No. 1 and I called him and I said, ‘Hey Ton’! We’re No. 1 all over the world with a jazz record!’ And he goes, ‘Hey Lady!’ That’s what he calls me, he calls me ‘Lady.’ ‘Hey Lady, we need to make a Cole Porter record, all Cole Porter songs, all love songs.’ I said, ‘OK Tony, but you understand that we’re No. 1 all over the world?’ ‘Yeah yeah, we got to make a Cole Porter record.’ So I said yes. I always keep my word to Tony.
Then a couple years later, his Alzheimer’s just started to set on and I said, ‘Let’s go into the studio now,’ and we did. And when I tell you that when jazz begins, this man lights up in a way that is such magic. It just reminded me that anybody that has a family member or somebody that they love that’s suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, music is… music is magic. Music is a miracle.”
The Late Show also premiered Gaga and Bennett’s performance of “Anything Goes” from One Last Time: An Evening With Tony Bennett And Lady Gaga, the duo’s upcoming concert special that airs on November 28 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS. So, find that below and watch Gaga’s interview above and below.