Anderson Cooper, Carson Daly & More Honor Tony Bennett After His Death

Anderson Cooper: “I’ll never forget the last performance that I had the privilege of being at backstage at Radio City Music Hall just a short time before he went on,” the journalist, who’d interviewed Bennett in honor of the 2021 performance, recalled to CNN. “He was in the back and he turned to Susan and he didn’t know exactly where he was. And he said, ‘What are we doing?’ And she, ‘You’re performing tonight in like 10 minutes.’ And he said, ‘Great.’ And she said, ‘Let’s go over the set.’ And he said, ‘Great.'”

After reviewing the songs, Cooper continued, Bennett went over to the stage wings to watch Lady Gaga’s part of the show.

“Watching Lady Gaga, you could see the music just flowing into him,” he noted. “He started tapping his feet and clicking his fingers together. He went out. He killed it out there. The crowd just erupted. His first words were, ‘Wow!’ And they just loved it. He did his whole set.” 

Cooper also reflected on a particularly emotional moment for Lady Gaga, who admitted that Bennett had struggled to remember her name during rehearsals. The CNN host said Bennett greeted her the first two nights by saying, “Wow! Look who’s here!” 

“But on that final night, when she came out and he turned and he saw her coming out, he said, ‘Wow! Lady Gaga!’ And she burst into tears,” Cooper shared. “I mean, everybody just burst into tears. It was just an extraordinary night. I mean, what a life we have been able to witness and benefit from over all these decades.”

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