Lady Gaga has a tattoo that’s a sketch Tony Bennett drew for her

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When news broke that Tony Bennett had passed away one of my first thoughts was, “Gaga must be devastated.” Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett met in 2011 when she was in her Born This Way era (still her best solo album, in my opinion). By 2014 she appeared on his Duets series and they recorded a jazz album together, Cheek to Cheek. The fondness between them was apparent from the get-go. I think Bennett saw past all the outfits and hairdos and just thought, “the kid can sing!” And it seemed that Gaga, for her part, revered Bennett and always treated him with kindness. I imagine she feels like she’s lost a family member, which is why I wasn’t surprised to see this sweet little piece from People on how she’ll always remember him:

Lady Gaga will always have a permanent reminder of the late Tony Bennett.

In 2014, the pop star, 37, had the legendary “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” singer–who died at age 96 on Friday–sketch her one of her tattoos.

“I asked Tony to draw me a trumpet, and he sketched me Miles Davis’ trumpet,” Gaga told PEOPLE that year. “Then I had it tattooed with his last name, Benedetto, underneath. Just so I would always remember this time together.”

Gaga and Bennett–who is remembered in this week’s PEOPLE cover story, on newsstands Friday–first bonded in 2011 at a charity gala where she sang the standard “Orange Colored Sky.”

“Tony heard me sing it, and he asked to meet me,” Gaga said in 2014. “He said, ‘Do you want to do a jazz album together?’ I said, ‘Of course I do!’ We were fast friends.”

Their 2014 jazz album, Cheek to Cheek, debuted at No. 1, making Bennett, at 88, the oldest artist to top the charts. Even after Bennett was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016, he went on to release a second jazz album with Gaga, titled Love for Sale, in 2021.

In August of that year, Bennett played his final two sold-out shows with Gaga at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. “My time with Tony,” Gaga said at the time, “has changed me forever.”

[From People]

In addition to singing, Bennett was also an accomplished fine artist (he actually wanted to be a painter before he turned to music), so it’s all the more fitting that Gaga’s hand drawn trumpet tattoo is a marriage of both his talents. For all of the crazy Lady Gaga has thrown out into the world–and it’s a lot, I won’t deny that–I think her true character comes through in the way she interacts with the people she adores. We saw this last year when she took care of Liza Minnelli at the Oscars. The tenderness was also there when she and Bennett recorded Love for Sale in 2021, especially when they played his final two shows in New York that year. She knew his disease was progressing, and she put the focus on him. That’s a class act, Lady.

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