Tony Bennett, whose family announced in February that he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, will perform what is expected to be one of the music legend's last concerts when he takes the stage at Radio City Music Hall next month with his friend and collaborator Lady Gaga.
Concert promoter Live Nation on Monday announced that "One Last Time: An Evening with Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga" will open Aug. 3, Bennett's 95th birthday, with a second performance Aug. 5. General-public tickets go on sale Thursday at 10 a.m. at LiveNation.com, with presale available to Citi cardmembers a day earlier at that time.
The shows will be their only shared public concert appearances this summer, the promoter noted in its news release. "Bennett has completely retained his singular ability to sing the songs that he has devoted his life to performing, despite his diagnosis," the release said, adding that "the concerts at Radio City will be his last NYC performances of his career."
"It's been too long! Ready for live music again? Join @LadyGaga & me at @RadioCity August 3rd & 5th," read a post at the Queens-born Bennett's social-media accounts Monday. "Am looking forward to be[ing] on the Great Stage again, and can't wait to see you there!" Added Gaga, 35, born Stefani Germanotta in New York City, "I am so honored and excited to celebrate Tony's 95th birthday with him at these special shows."
Audience members must be fully vaccinated and provide proof upon entry of having received their final dose at least 14 days earlier. "The only exception is for children under the age of 16, who may provide proof of a negative antigen or PCR COVID-19 test or full vaccination and are accompanied by a fully vaccinated adult," Live Nation added. Cellphones, smartwatches and other recording devices will be placed in locked Yondr pouches of which patrons will retain possession, and which may be unlocked only at designated stations in the lobby.
In February, Bennett's family revealed in a lengthy profile of the singer in AARP The Magazine that he had been diagnosed in 2016 with Alzheimer's, the most common form of dementia, affecting roughly 5 million Americans. He has suffered relatively mild symptoms so far, including short-term memory loss and mild disorientation, according to the article, in which his neurologist, Dr. Gayatri Devi, said Bennett has some "cognitive issues, but multiple other areas of his brain are still resilient and functioning well."
The music icon remains able to sing and remember lyrics, the article said: "Neuroscience even today cannot explain how a man whose speaking voice has become so hesitant — whose memory of events, people and places has largely vanished — can, at the sound of a musical cue, lift his voice in song with such beauty and expression, except to say that music and singing emerge … from areas of the brain quite distinct from those associated with speech and language."
Multiple Grammy Award winners Bennett and Gaga, who partnered on the hit album "Cheek to Cheek" (2014), have collaborated on a completed second album. No release date has been announced.