Belfast Telegraph

Tony Bennett: Lady Gaga gives me goosebumps

Tony Bennett, who is 89 years old, has shared details of the conversations he had with late legendary jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald.

Tony Bennett gets goosebumps all over his body when he hears Lady Gaga sing.

The pair collaborated together on 2014 jazz album Cheek to Cheek, an LP that won a Grammy and received rave reviews.

Musical legend Tony, who is 89 years old, has worked with some of the greatest musicians of all time throughout the years, including Art Blakey, Count Basie and countless others, and he considers Gaga to be classed among these icons.

“Gaga is a gorgeous singer, and when she sings a great ballad, I get goosebumps,” he told Vulture. “She helped me and I helped her by doing Cheek to Cheek. Through her telling her audience how much she likes me, all of them became fans of mine, all these young teenagers. On the other hand, by her singing these beautiful songs on the album, the audience I have, all of them said, ‘God, I never knew she sang that wonderfully.’ So we both helped one another. We get along great.”

Gaga has taken on a very successful acting career of late, as she is a principal character in creator Ryan Murphy’s TV series American Horror Story: Hotel, playing villainous persona The Countess.

Tony is convinced Gaga will become a huge movie star in upcoming years.

“She's got a lot of talent,” he shared. “I think someday she's going to be very big in films, which I'm not too interested in. I work live, to audiences, but I think she's going to surprise everybody and make some good films.”

Tony worked with black musicians consistently during the 1950s and 1960s, when American racism was rampant, as Jim Crows laws enforcing segregation between whites and blacks were in effect until 1965.

But Tony has always been a staunch supporter of civil rights, a topic he discussed with late African-American songstress Ella Fitzgerald numerous times before she died.

“She was my neighbour in Hollywood when I lived there,” he recalled. “She was the most wonderful lady. I used to go to her home, and she was wonderful.

“[The things we talked about] had nothing to do with show business. She said it all, in one sentence, about racial prejudice. She kept saying to me, all the time, ‘Tony, we're all here.’ That one sentence, those three words, says it all. It shows you just how the right way to think about the elimination of racial prejudice. ‘We're all here.’”

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