Backstage at last night’s Grammy Awards, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga looked like an elegant couple out on the town. As the vocal duo posed for portrait photographer Danny Clinch, Gaga held a trophy and leaned comfortably against Bennett’s shoulder. The two singers had just won the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album Grammy for last year’s standards collaboration Cheek to Cheek. And just minutes earlier, they stood on the show’s stage-in-the-round to perform the title track with a jazz quartet.
“Me and Tony love to perform together,” Gaga told Rolling Stone as she walked between rooms, looking vintage Hollywood glam in a black sequined gown and silvery-platinum Veronica Lake hair. Walking a few steps ahead, Tony wore a tux.
Their unlikely partnership began with a recording of “The Lady Is a Tramp” (off Bennett’s 2011 Duets II), and they ended last night with a concert at the Wiltern Theatre, continuing a tour that began December 30th in Las Vegas. “It’s a wonderful time if you like jazz,” Gaga said of the show.
The 28-year-old singer went on to say that this project “means everything” to her. “I think something I was craving for myself was a truly authentic collaboration, a true artistic exchange. With Tony I found not only that, but I found a friend. Not only do we spend a lot of time together and make music, but we talk. It’s been an incredible experience all the way around.”
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In a 2012 interview with Rolling Stone, Bennett enthusiastically compared Gaga to jazz great Ella Fitzgerald and said that she “could become America’s Picasso.” In the years since, he continued offering advice to the younger star. “He passed along something very special to me from his best friend Duke Ellington,” Gaga recalled. “He said, ‘Number one, don’t quit. Number two, listen to number one.'”