Lady Gaga is paying tribute to Tony Bennett, one of her greatest musical collaborators, more than a week after his death.
Lady Gaga took to Instagram on Sunday to honor the legendary crooner, saying, "I will miss my friend forever. I will miss singing with him, recording with him, talking with him, being on stage together."
"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," she continued. "But it wasn't an act. Our relationship was very real. 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."
She added, "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."
"Though there were 5 decades between us, he was my friend. My real true friend," Lady Gaga wrote. "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."
Bennett, who released two albums with the "Born This Way" singer, died in New York City on July 21, according to his publicist.
He was 96 and had been battling Alzheimer's disease since 2016.
Given his yearslong battle with Alzheimer's, Lady Gaga wrote, "I've been grieving the loss of Tony for a long time. We had a very long and powerful goodbye."
"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 persons life," she explained. "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."
She continued, "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."
Lady Gaga ended her lengthy tribute with a touching piece of advice to her followers.
"If I could say anything to the world about this I would say don't discount your elders, don't leave them behind when things change. Don't flinch when you feel sad, just keep going straight ahead, sadness is part of it," she said. "Take care of your elders and I promise you will learn something special. Maybe even magical."
She added, "And pay attention to silence -- some of my musical partner and I's most meaningful exchanges were with no melody at all."
Lady Gaga first collaborated with Bennett by singing "The Lady Is a Tramp" with him on his 2011 album, "Duets II."
The duo then took the world by storm with their 2014 album "Cheek to Cheek," which was full of jazz standards and tunes from the Great American Songbook. It won them the best traditional pop vocal album at the 2015 Grammys.
Lady Gaga and Bennett's second collaborative album, "Love for Sale," was released in 2021. A tribute to American composer Cole Porter, it won the best traditional pop vocal album in 2022.
Bennett's last public concert performances were a series of sold-out shows alongside Lady Gaga at New York City's Radio City Music Hall in August 2021 in celebration of his 95th birthday.