Five duets between Tony Bennett and younger pop stars, from Lady Gaga to John Legend

The celebrated singer was known for his generous collaborative spirit

Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga at the Grammys in February 2015. AFP
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As well as being a masterful solo artist, Tony Bennet was ever the consummate collaborator.

Throughout his seven-decade career, the singer, who died aged 96 on Friday, made a point of sharing the stage and recording booth with younger artists.

Sometimes these songs served to expose them to a new fan base, other times they were revelatory in showcasing their unheralded jazz vocals.

Here are five times when Bennett sang duets with younger artists.

1. Body and Soul with Amy Winehouse

The second single from Bennet's 2011 Duets II album, the song was released two months after Winehouse's tragic death.

The soulful track finds Winehouse in fine form with Bennett giving her space to remind the public of her singular talent.

“What I love about Amy Winehouse is that, of all the singers since the Beatles, you automatically check everyone out who’s a lot younger, but there’s been such a big walk away from jazz,” Bennett told Entertainment Weekly.

“Some people think that anyone could sing jazz, but they can’t.

“It’s a gift of learning how to syncopate but it’s also a spirit that you’re either born with or you’re not. And Amy was born with that spirit.”

2. The Lady is a Tramp with Lady Gaga

Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga in the studio could have sounded like a horrible idea instead of a popular double act.

That's because, with Bennett by her side, Gaga finally had the chance to showcase her dynamism as a jazz vocalist.

First performed live as the opening number on the 2011 television special A Very Gaga Thanksgiving, the song sowed the seeds for their 2021 collaborative album Love for Sale.

3. Steppin’ Out With My Baby with Christina Aguilera

When Bennett calls, you drop everything.

This is what Christina Aguilera reportedly did by momentarily stepping away from promotional duties for album Lotus, to record the Irving Berlin standard Steppin’ Out With My Baby for Bennett’s 2012 album Viva Duets.

4. Don't Get Around Much Anymore with Michael Buble

This collaboration was bound to happen, and it is as smooth as it sounds.

Bennett tapped his potential heir apparent to record this Duke Ellington jazz standard in 2012.

Full of brass and brio, you can almost imagine the duo winking at each other while trading verses.

5. Sing, You Sinners with John Legend

Bennett takes RnB singer John Legend slightly out of his comfort zone in Sing, You Sinners, a popular tune from the 1930 Bring Crosby comedy film Honey.

Both do a swinging job amid the big horns and strings. The track could also serve as a decent audition track for stage producers should Legend decides to hit Broadway.

Updated: July 21, 2023, 1:52 PM