Tony Bennett won over generations of fans crooning “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” And on his 95th birthday, the beloved singer left his heart on the stage of Radio City Music Hall.
Six months after Bennett and his family revealed he is suffering from Alzheimer’s, Bennett sang alongside Lady Gaga before sold-out crowds in a two-concert series in early August billed as his final New York performances. Now the rest of the world has a chance to take in the moving August 3 show in a TV special, “One Last Time: An Evening With Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga,” which aired Sunday on CBS.
In addition to his signature song, Bennett performed standards like “Fly Me to the Moon” and “Steppin’ Out With My Baby” and duets with Lady Gaga including “Love For Sale” and “Anything Goes.” His family members have said sometimes Bennett doesn’t know where he is and what is happening around him. But onstage in the TV special, the legendary performer didn’t miss a beat.
Belting out “New York, New York” before Bennett took the stage, Lady Gaga teared up when she paused to talk about him. “He’s my friend. He’s my musical companion. And he’s the greatest singer in the whole world. And I’m counting on you, New York, to make him smile. So you better cheer. You better yell. You better laugh. You better cry. You better give your soul.” The Radio City Music Hall audience held up its end of the bargain. Bennett got his first standing ovation before even singing a note — and racked up at least a dozen more throughout the night.