Lady Gaga shared a touching moment backstage at the 2017 Tony Awards when she heard that Tony Bennett had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
The singer tweeted on Friday that she’d been trying to play it cool when she realized Bennett was having a hard time with his Alzheimer’s. Gaga said Bennett was so amazing to her, and that she appreciated him.
We tried so hard to keep the news about my #tonyandladygaga coming. My love for this extraordinary artist is too much to bear. #StayStrongTony pic.twitter.com/0FhcFmw1OD — Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) June 24, 2017
“I want to give you one last big hug to say thank you so much for the music and inspiration,” she wrote. “I’m still in disbelief that you are losing your magic.”
She said she was heartbroken for Bennett, who has toured with her during her career.
Bennett, 87, is known for his collaborations with Lady Gaga and Billy Joel, and “The Lady Is a Tramp,” which he co-wrote with Lady Gaga. His other recent projects include performing music from “Spinal Tap.”
The legendary singer will perform with pianist Bill Charlap this summer in Bennett’s honor at The 92nd Street Y.
The Grapevine, Texas native starred at the New England Conservatory of Music and the Juilliard School before earning a spot at the Metropolitan Opera. Bennett moved to New York City in 1955 with just $200 to start a career. He went on to win 11 Grammy Awards, seven Grammys for the “Mr. Sinatra” album and six Grammys for the “Tony Bennett Celebrates 90” album.
Earlier this year, Lady Gaga revealed that she suffers from an underactive thyroid, which makes her “feel sort of foggy and not a little out of it.”
The singer added that a “moment of silence” had been requested at the Tony Awards.
She has responded with colorful original music, and to the tune of $200,000, with her Beacon Theatre performance during the 2016 Tony Awards.