Tony Bennett turns 95; celebrates with news about final album with Lady Gaga


'Love For Sale' was recorded by Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga over the course of two years. Photo AFP

It’s Tony Bennett’s 95th birthday, and he’s celebrating with Lady Gaga’s announcement of their second album of duets.

“The day we released Cheek To Cheek in 2014, @itstonybennett called me and asked me if I wanted to record another album with him, this time celebrating the songs of Cole Porter. I’m always honored to sing with my friend Tony, so of course I accepted the invitation,” Gaga tweeted Tuesday (Aug 3).

“Today, I am so excited to announce that our new album Love For Sale will be released October 1,” she continued in a second tweet, which included an audio clip. “You can pre-order the album and listen to our first single I Get A Kick Out Of You everywhere now!”

Love For Sale was recorded by Bennett and Gaga over the course of two years. The release is being billed as Bennett’s last after the revelation earlier this year that he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016.

In February, AARP the Magazine reported that unlike some Alzheimer’s patients, Bennett could still recognise friends and family members, did not wander from home and had not demonstrated signs of terror, rage or depression often prompted by the debilitating disease.

He struggled to identify everyday objects, however, and when recording his upcoming album with Lady Gaga from 2018 to 2020, he had lost his vigour and awareness in the studio.

“There’s a lot about him that I miss,” his wife, Susan Benedetto — that’s Bennett’s legal last name, by the way — said in the AARP article. “Because he’s not the old Tony anymore.... But when he sings, he’s the old Tony.”

Despite all that, Bennett and his protege will perform together at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. The nearly sold-out shows are titled “One Last Time: An Evening With Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga.” He also has a couple of solo shows planned for September and October.

Bennett’s Twitter account rounded up birthday wishes Tuesday from the likes of Alec Baldwin, Robert De Niro, Cyndi Lauper, U2’s Bono and the Edge, the Pointer Sisters, Billy Joel, Keith Richards and Paul McCartney and Katie Couric, who posted video of herself playing I Get a Kick Out Of You for Bennett in 2016.

“God gave you a great, great gift, and you really have put it to good use,” Baldwin said in his happy birthday video. - Los Angeles Times/Tribune News Service

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