Lady Gaga: 'I tell Tony Bennett every day that he saved my life'

Gaga says she would have given up singing had the veteran crooner not become someone she could ‘relate to’

Lady Gaga says Tony Bennett “saved her life” earlier this year, convincing her to keep singing when she wanted to give it up. With the two artists set to release their collaborative album, Cheek to Cheek, later this month, Gaga said Bennett is one of the few people she can “relate to”.

“You can’t trust anybody,” Gaga explained to Parade magazine. “You can trust your family. [But] you know, there were people I was sure were my friends [who were not].” Alluding to her recent problems with managers and assistants, Gaga said that people often “take advantage” of artists. “It’s heartbreaking. Six months ago I didn’t even want to sing anymore.”

“I was so sad,” she went on. “I couldn’t sleep. I felt dead. And then I spent a lot of time with Tony. He wanted nothing but my friendship and my voice.” The 88-year-old jazz singer became Gaga’s role model: “The other day, Tony said, ‘I’ve never once in my career not wanted to do this,’” she said. “It stung. Six months ago I didn’t feel that way. I tell Tony every day that he saved my life.”

Gaga recalled bursting into tears when they recorded the song Lush Life. “Tony held me and I cried in his arms,” she said. “I kept saying, ‘Am I a mess, Tony? I don’t want to be a mess. I want to make you proud.’ He said, ‘No, you’re not a mess. You’re a sophisticated lady.’”

She has tried particularly hard to overcome the sense that Art Pop was a failure. (It sold around 2.3m copies, while her first album sold more than 10m.) Artpop “didn’t grab the whole world the way The Fame Monster did, [but] that’s OK, because I know it’s good”, she said. “That’s what Tony has taught me – that my intuition is right. When he talks about the 66 albums he’s put out, the peaks and valleys, and how it’s not about having a hit record – it’s the most inspiring thing.”

Cheek to Cheek is released on 22 September.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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