Saturday, April 20, 2024

Exclusive: Lady Gaga on Why BFF Tony Bennett Won’t Be Singing on Her New Rock Album


EXCLUSIVE We’re still glowing from Lady Gaga’s historic hour long jazz show at Tony Bennett’s 90th birthday party at the Rainbow Room Wednesday night.

But even topping that was the combo of Gaga and Stevie Wonder, who flew across the country just to be there. At the piano Stevie talked about hearing Tony’s hit “For Once in My Life” for the first time when he was about 13 or 14. “I knew I wanted to do it, and I changed it up,” Stevie said, showing off his revamped version, which also became a hit.

“I said to Ron Miller, who wrote the song, I want strings on my record! But Berry Gordy said, what do you want strings for?” Stevie said, imitating his Motown mentor. In the end, Stevie had a hit with his version, too. A few years ago, Stevie and Tony recorded a duet of the song and have remained life long friends.

Stevie and Gaga have a lot in common right now, too: they each have new music coming but don’t want to talk about it yet. Gaga told me a little bit but then stopped herself. It’s possible she’ll drop a new album before the end of the year.

Stevie played Tony a new song on his digital recorder, using Polk headphones ($249 noise cancelling– they were very good, but I like my AKG N60s better).  Stevie may be dropping some new music soon too.

I asked Gaga about recording with Tony in the future after their hit “Cheek to Cheek” album. “My album will come first, then one with us–maybe Cole Porter.” Tony told us exclusively about the Cole Porter album last year.

Would Tony appear on her rock album, I asked Gaga? “I don’t think so,” she laughed. “He’d say there are only three chords, and two of them are wrong!”


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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