Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett releasing new album together
Lady Gaga and jazz icon Tony Bennett have made a new album together through the latter's diagnosis with Alzheimer's disease, marking the pair's first collaborative LP since the release of their 2014 hit Cheek to Cheek.
EW has confirmed the news following a new AARP profile and subsequent interview with Gayle King on CBS This Morning, in which Bennett's family revealed news of the album while discussing the 94-year-old's 2016 diagnosis with the neurodegenerative illness.
Reportedly recorded between 2018 and 2020, between Gaga's promotional tour for A Star Is Born and the making of her latest solo effort, Chromatica, the new album was first discussed following the success of their jazz standards project Cheek to Cheek, which debuted at No. 1 in the United States nearly seven years ago.
The writer of the AARP profile described seeing documentary footage of Bennett's recording sessions with Gaga, noting that the singer appeared "considerably more muted" in the studio, describing Gaga as a nurturing partner between takes.
"'You sound so good, Tony,' she tells him at one point. 'Thanks,' is his one-word response. She says that she thinks 'all the time' about their 2015 tour. Tony looks at her wordlessly. 'Wasn't that fun every night?' she prompts him. 'Yeah,' he says, uncertainly," the article reads. "The pain and sadness in Gaga's face is clear at such moments — but never more so than in an extraordinarily moving sequence in which Tony (a man she calls 'an incredible mentor, and friend, and father figure') sings a solo passage of a love song. Gaga looks on, from behind her mic, her smile breaking into a quiver, her eyes brimming, before she puts her hands over her face and sobs."
According to the piece, the new LP — reportedly slated for a spring release — "offers lush, gorgeous duets, with both singers in superb voice," though his family suspects Bennett will be unable to conduct promotional interviews for it, which led to their decision to go public with his diagnosis six years after the onset of symptoms.
Bennett's eldest son, Danny, recalled speaking with Gaga prior to the article's debut.
"I wanted to check with her to make sure she was cool," said Danny, "because she watches his back all the time. She was like, 'Absolutely, it's just another gift that he can give to the world.'"
Bennett's wife, Susan Benedetto, said his doctor had recommended he keep up with music as the disease progressed, as the art form has been shown to help connect patients with their surroundings.
"There's a lot about him that I miss," Benedetto said at the end of the profile. "Because he's not the old Tony anymore. But when he sings, he's the old Tony."
Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett follow up 2014's Cheek to Cheek with another jazzy collection, this time filled with Cole Porter cover songs.