Tony Bennett says Lady Gaga understands his struggle with dementia

Image copyright PA Image caption Tony Bennett admits to not knowing when he’ll live to see his musical

Tony Bennett says he and Lady Gaga are “so happy” in their relationship because she understands his struggle with dementia.

Bennett told Billboard magazine the illness is “completely misdiagnosed” and he is “really struggling”.

The two singers have collaborated on a new record, Duets II, in which they sing Frank Sinatra’s songs.

Bennett said: “It’s really tough. Nobody understands until they suffer through it.”

The duo released the new album, which features covers of two Sinatra standards, Yesterday and That’s Life, on the same day.

Bennett, 94, plays the piano for the first time on the album, which hits the UK in October.

Lady Gaga, 33, said the musicians had taken their time over the record.

“When we finished Duets I [in 2008], he didn’t know for two and a half years that he’d be going through this whole treatment – that he’d be slipping into a state where he couldn’t talk, where he couldn’t write,” she said.

“He said, ‘The hardest thing, the most amazing thing, is how I can listen to you sing, how you can hear me.”

A video for the duet, Lady Gaga And Tony Bennett Duets II was released this week.

Bennett has never disclosed how much his Alzheimer’s has cost him financially. But in 2015 he was alleged to have signed a record deal with Universal Music Group’s touring arm for about $250m, and the company is reportedly seeking at least another $100m in rights to perform the tracks.

Lady Gaga said her new partner understood his state of mind and gave his approval for the performance.

“One of the hardest things about his dementia is that he’s not able to remember or understand the lyrics,” she added.

“He does not understand the pressure of the world that we’re in, or that I could be anywhere with him at any moment.”

She confirmed she was “forever grateful” for the work they have done together, and “though he is struggling”, they were able to go on.

“We love each other too much to stop or cancel,” she said.

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