Last week, iconic crooner Tony Bennett performed with Lady Gaga in two sold-out shows at Radio City Music Hall in New York City to celebrate his 95th birthday. Now his son Danny Bennett says those two shows will be Bennett’s last, on “doctor’s orders.” Two sold out shows with Gaga in his home city? Definitely not a bad way to wrap up a lengthy and triumphant career in music.
“There won’t be any additional concerts,” Danny Bennett told Variety. “This was a hard decision for us to make, as he is a capable performer. This is, however, doctors’ orders. His continued health is the most important part of this, and when we heard the doctors—when Tony’s wife, Susan heard them—she said, ‘Absolutely not.’
“He’ll be doing other things, but not those upcoming shows. It’s not the singing aspect but, rather, the traveling. Look, he gets tired,” Danny Bennett continues. “The decision is being made that doing concerts now is just too much for him. We don’t want him to fall on stage, for instance—something as simple as that.”
The man deserves some rest. His forthcoming Cheek To Cheek follow-up with Lady Gaga, a Cole Porter tribute titled Love For Sale, will be his last album. Earlier this year, the singer’s family revealed that the elder Bennett was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016.
“They kept telling me that we lied, that there was no way Tony had Alzheimer’s,” Danny Bennett said. “I assured everyone that he does. … Yes, here he was, at 95, and still singing like this: Strong, emotive. But still, it is a complex question: how can he do this?
“My answer is that this is where he has lived his whole life and where he is most happy—on the stage, making music. Dealing as we have with Alzheimer’s for the last four-five years, it’s cognitive. He has short-term memory loss. That, however, does not mean that he doesn’t still have all this stored up inside of him. He doesn’t use a Teleprompter. He never misses a line. He hits that stage, and goes. Tony may not remember every part of doing that show. But, when he stepped to the side of the stage, the first thing he told me was: ‘I love being a singer.’”
Here come the waterworks. Bennett and Gaga’s Love For Sale is scheduled for release on October 1.