+
upworthy
Pop Culture

Lady Gaga urges the importance of friendship with 'elders' in tribute to Tony Bennett

"Our age difference didn’t matter — in fact, it gave us each something neither of us had with most people."

lady gaga, lady gaga tony bennett, lady gaga vegas,

Just a couple of BFFs on stage together

Lady Gaga is loved for many things that have nothing to do with her talent and instead speak to the generosity of her character. Perhaps most notable of these endearing qualities is her ability to create instant and authentic friendships with showbiz elders. Such delightful interactions, full of respect and admiration but never patronizing, are living proof of the potential we all have for intergenerational connections.

Her friendship with the late, great Tony Bennett, who died July 21, 2023, is the best example of this. Since meeting in 2011, the two became not only creative collaborators but pretty much the closest thing to soul mates you could imagine. Even as Bennett’s cognition began to decline, Gaga treated him with reverence, describing it as a “challenging” but “beautiful” chapter.

Following the legendary crooner’s passing, Gaga shared moving a tribute to her comrade and also a valuable message about the importance of connecting without elders…even during the difficult times.


In case you somehow missed out on the greatness that is the work of Bennett and Gaga together (otherwise known as “Cheek to Cheek” and “Love For Sale”), here’s how she sums it up:

“With Tony, I got to live my life in a time warp. Tony & I had this magical power. We transported ourselves to another era, modernized the music together, & gave it all new life as a singing duo.”

Bennett became far more than a career mentor for Gaga, helping her reclaim a sense of joy and hope.

“Sure he taught me about music, about showbiz life, but he also showed me how to keep my spirits high and my head screwed on straight. "Straight ahead," he'd say. He was an optimist, he believed in quality work AND quality life. Plus, there was the gratitude...Tony was always grateful. He served in WWII, marched with Martin Luther King Jr., and sang jazz with the greatest singers and players in the world.”

Gaga then shared how Bennett’s Alzheimer's diagnosis made the later years of their friendship “a very long and powerful goodbye.” In fact, no matter how painful it was, being at different chapters in life is part of what made their relationship so special.


“Though there were 5 decades between us, he was my friend. My real true friend. Our age difference didn’t matter—in fact, it gave us each something neither of us had with most people. We were from two different stages in life entirely—inspired. Losing Tony to Alzheimer’s has been painful but it was also really beautiful. An era of memory loss is such a sacred time in a person’s life. There's such a feeling of vulnerability and a desire to preserve dignity. All I wanted was for Tony to remember how much I loved him and how grateful I was to have him in my life. But, as that faded slowly I knew deep down he was sharing with me the most vulnerable moment in his life that he could--being willing to sing with me when his nature was changing so deeply. I'll never forget this experience. I'll never forget Tony Bennett.”

Gaga concluded by urging everyone to not “discount your elders,” and to not “leave them behind when things change.” Ultimately, there is a gift to be had within the pain.

“Don’t flinch when you feel sad, just keep going straight ahead, sadness is part of it. Take care of your elders and I promise you will learn something special. Maybe even magical,” she wrote.

Gaga continues to not only bring about change in the music world, but inspires compassionate mindset shifts for everyday life as well.

True

Making new friends as an adult is challenging. While people crave meaningful IRL connections, it can be hard to know where to find them. But thanks to one Facebook Group, meeting your new best friends is easier than ever.

Founded in 2018, NYC Brunch Squad brings together hundreds of people who come as strangers and leave as friends through its in-person events.

“Witnessing the transformative impact our community has on the lives of our members is truly remarkable. We provide the essential support and connections needed to thrive amid the city's chaos,” shares Liza Rubin, the group’s founder.

Despite its name, the group doesn’t just do brunch. They also have book clubs, seasonal parties, and picnics, among other activities.

NYC Brunch Squad curates up to 10 monthly events tailored to the specific interests of its members. Liza handles all the details, taking into account different budgets and event sizes – all people have to do is show up.

“We have members who met at our events and became friends and went on to embark on international journeys to celebrate birthdays together. We have had members get married with bridesmaids by their sides who were women they first connected with at our events. We’ve had members decide to live together and become roommates,” Liza says.

Members also bond over their passion for giving back to their community. The group has hosted many impact-driven events, including a “Picnic with Purpose” to create self-care packages for homeless shelters and recently participated in the #SquadSpreadsJoy challenge. Each day, the 100 members participating receive random acts of kindness to complete. They can also share their stories on the group page to earn extra points. The member with the most points at the end wins a free seat at the group's Friendsgiving event.

Keep ReadingShow less
Education

3,700-year-old Babylonian stone tablet gets translated, changes history

They were doing trigonometry 1500 years before the Greeks.

via UNSW

Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Mom’s blistering rant on how men are responsible for all unwanted pregnancies is on the nose

“ALL unwanted pregnancies are caused by the irresponsible ejaculations of men. Period. Don't believe me? Let me walk you through it."

Mom has something to say... strongly say.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly known as Mormons, are a conservative group who aren't known for being vocal about sex.

But best selling author, blogger, and mother of six, Gabrielle Blair, has kicked that stereotype to the curb with a pointed thread on reducing unwanted pregnancies. And her sights are set directly at men.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Dad takes 7-week paternity leave after his second child is born and is stunned by the results

"These past seven weeks really opened up my eyes on how the household has actually ran, and 110% of that is because of my wife."

@ustheremingtons/TikTok

There's a lot to be gleaned from this.

Participating in paternity leave offers fathers so much more than an opportunity to bond with their new kids. It also allows them to help around the house and take on domestic responsibilities that many new mothers have to face alone…while also tending to a newborn.

All in all, it enables couples to handle the daunting new chapter as a team, making it less stressful on both parties. Or at least equally stressful on both parties. Democracy!

TikTok creator and dad Caleb Remington, from the popular account @ustheremingtons, confesses that for baby number one, he wasn’t able to take a “single day of paternity leave.”

This time around, for baby number two, Remington had the privilege of taking seven weeks off (to be clear—his employer offered four weeks, and he used an additional three weeks of PTO).

The time off changed Remington’s entire outlook on parenting, and his insights are something all parents could probably use.

Keep ReadingShow less
Science

She tattooed half her face and you'd never know it. Her skills are just that good.

This incredible medical tattoo technology is giving renewed hope to burn victims.

All images via the CBS/YouTube

Basma Hameed runs a tattoo shop, of sorts...


Meet Samira Omar.

The 17-year-old was the victim of a horrific bullying incident.

Keep ReadingShow less
Images via Alan Taylor/Flickr, used with permission.

Updating the kitchen.


Remember those beloved Richard Scarry books?

Books from when you were a kid?

Keep ReadingShow less
Education

Voice recordings of people who were enslaved offer incredible first-person accounts of U.S. history

"The results of these digitally enhanced recordings are arresting, almost unbelievable. The idea of hearing the voices of actual slaves from the plantations of the Old South is as powerful—as startling, really—as if you could hear Abraham Lincoln or Robert E. Lee speak." - Ted Koppel

Library of Congress

When we think about the era of American slavery, many of us tend to think of it as the far distant past. While slavery doesn't exist as a formal institution today, there are people living who knew formerly enslaved black Americans first-hand. In the wide arc of history, the legal enslavement of people on U.S. soil is a recent occurrence—so recent, in fact, that we have voice recordings of interviews with people who lived it.

Keep ReadingShow less