Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett unveiled the MTV Unplugged special for their latest album Love for Sale on Thursday night. Stream the televised concert below.
The performance was recorded as Bennett continued to battle Alzheimer’s, shortly before he cancelled his remaining concerts last summer and officially retired. For Unplugged, Gaga served as MC for both audience and Bennett, transitioning from song to song and setting up her partner’s musical cues. She was playfully flirty with Bennett, asking his wife Susan’s permission before “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” and during “Love for Sale,” she ad-libbed a line about working for the 95-year-old crooner “any night of the week.”
If you’ve ever seen Alzehimer’s up close, you’ll recognize that what Gaga is doing is truly special. The concert often looked carefully choreographed, even though Bennet wouldn’t have remembered blocking from rehearsals. She’s memorized his habits, and when he turns towards the audience for a big chorus, she almost always turns in unison.
Perhaps the best example of this came on “Night and Day.” Gaga danced across the round stage, and when they started singing the first “You,” of “You, you, you,” Bennett’s left arm was at his side. But Gaga lifted her hand in a big gesture before pointing at Bennett, and Bennet’s hand shot up, so that he was only a split second behind in mirroring her. They pointed at each other at the same time on the final two, “You’s,” two consummate professionals in perfect harmony. Watch Gaga and Bennett’s Love For Sale: MTV Unplugged below.
The performance follows the pair’s recent CBS special, One Last Time: An Evening with Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, while their studio set is currently nominated for five awards at the upcoming 64 annual Grammys, including Record of the Year; Album of the Year; Best Pop Duo/Group Performance; Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album; Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical; and Best Music Video.
Gaga has also been balancing hitting making the promotional circuit for her role as Patrizia Gucci in Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci. Earlier this week, she nabbed her fifth career Golden Globe nomination for the film.