EXCL: Tony Bennett's daughter opens up about performing without father

EXCLUSIVE: Tony Bennett’s daughter Antonia gushes about Lady Gaga’s ‘special relationship’ with her late father – as she reveals the most important piece of singing advice he gave her

  • The icon’s youngest daughter, 49, enjoyed the musical education of dreams
  • Late singer shared invaluable advice about how to always deliver for the crowds
  • Antonia makes her solo debut at Dizzy’s Club in New York on November 30

Tony Bennett’s daughter Antonia has gushed over her late father’s ‘special relationship’ with musical powerhouse Lady Gaga, as she opened up about the most important piece of advice she received from the beloved jazz singer.

Tony died aged 96 in July this year, seven years after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Speaking exclusively to DailyMail.com, Antonia, 49, revealed that although she hasn’t seen Gaga recently, she is so ‘happy’ that her father forged a friendship with the Poker Face singer.

‘The last time I saw her was on my father’s birthday,’ she said. ‘But she’s lovely. They had such a special relationship, and I’m so happy that they had each other.’

Tony Bennett ‘s daughter Antonia has opened up about continuing her father’s musical legacy, as she ramped up her own music career with a special set in New York’s Dizzy club

Tony’s unlikely friendship with Lady Gaga , 37, endeared him to a new legion of fans thanks to the duo recording two albums together: 2014’s Cheek To Cheek and 2021’s Love For Sale

Antonia opened for her father at more than 25 venues across the world, with the father-daughter duo sharing the stage together 

Tony struck up an unlikely friendship with Lady Gaga, 37, who endeared him to a new legion of fans. The duo recorded two albums together – 2014’s Cheek To Cheek and 2021’s Love For Sale.

The first record debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and went on to win a Grammy for best traditional pop vocal album.

Their second was recorded over two years from 2018 to 2020 when Bennett was already in decline following his diagnosis in 2016.

Antonia is gearing up for her solo debut at Dizzy’s Club at Jazz at Lincoln Center tonight.

For the gig, the Right On Time singer will be accompanied by The Todd Hunter Trio as she performs a mix of classic tracks from the Great American Songbook as well as her own original songs. 

Antonia, whose mother is actress Sandra Grant, admitted that it would be a bittersweet moment without her father around to witness the moment – but revealed the advice she will remember as she takes to the stage. 

‘He would say, “Before you sing the word love, make sure that you mean it. Before you open your mouth and say the word, make sure that you really feel it,”‘ she recalled. ‘It sounds very simple, but it’s good things, good advice to have because it is important to always stay true.

‘He was always super supportive and he wasn’t the type of person to give a lot of direct advice. He would say very simple things, like, you have to let it rest with the audience. 

The music legend died aged 96 in July, after an enjoying a career which spanned eight decades  – pictured with Antonia in February 2012

As Antonia continues to grieve the loss of her father, she explains that she has been able to find joy in fans reaching out to share memories involving her dad

‘If the audience is having a good time. Then you have to notice that, see that and let it rest there.’

Asked how he father would feel about her performing alone, she continued: ‘I think he would be so happy that I’m continuing on that I’m performing. But we spent so many years working together so I really do feel that he got to see me perform quite a bit. And we have so many beautiful shared emotions and experiences together.’

Reflecting on how she has used the power of her grief to amplify her performances, she added: ‘As performers, having emotions is not a bad thing. Sometimes you have to choose between the technique or the emotion. 

‘I always try to choose for the emotion because I think that people understand and they want to have a shared experience with you.’

Antonia said she has found comfort from fans who have reached out to share stories and their memories involving her late father.

She said: ‘It’s amazing, the outpouring of love from other people. Sometimes people think that they’re bothering me, but actually it’s so nice, especially right now, to have these stories and to hear them. It really means a lot.’

Antonia revealed that while she hadn’t seen the singer since her father’s birthday, she had a lot of joy about the relationship he shared with the hitmaker

In the same way, Antonia finds comfort in doing the thing that both she and her father loved so much – performing.

Sharing her excitement about her upcoming shows, the singer gushed: ‘Honestly, I’m just really excited to be out there and doing it again. I really love my job. So any opportunity that I get to just get out there and do my thing is such a blessing.’

Gaga was one of many who paid a moving tribute to Tony when he passed

Elsewhere, the music legend’s youngest daughter admitted she will ‘never say never’ to using AI technology to record a duet with her late father in the future.  

Though, she opened for her father at more than 25 venues across the world, the pair only officially recorded one duet together for his 2008 album, A Swingin’ Christmas.

When discussing whether she would be opposed to using technology to add her father’s vocals to future tracks, Antonia teased: ‘I mean, I never say never, but I haven’t really put much thought to it.’

As for whether the pair could grace the stage together again with the help of holograms, she added: ‘Who knows?’

Tony has children, Danny, 69, and Dae, 68, with first wife Patricia Beech, as well as daughters Joanna, 53, and Antonia, 49, with his second spouse, Sandra.

The legendary crooner not only performed alongside Antonia over the years, but was also managed by one of his sons, while the other worked as a music producer.

When discussing the idea of using AI technology to add her father’s vocals to future tracks, Antonia teased: ‘I mean, I never say never, but I haven’t really put much thought to it’

Reflecting on the way she naturally decided to follow in her father’s musical footsteps, Antonia stated: ‘It was a natural evolution. I started getting up on stage with him from the time that I could walk and talk, and I always kind of did it. 

‘Then I went to Berklee College of Music in Boston and I think that at that point, it was very natural.’

It turns out her father did his best to truly emphasize the potential struggles from following in his footsteps, adding: ‘He would he would say things to me like, “Are you really sure this is what you want? You know, you’re going to be on the road a lot.” 

‘But at that point, I had already spent so much time on the road, and on stage, that it just seemed like a natural progression and not too difficult for me.’

In recent years, children of chart-topping artists have become regulars on stage with their parents.

Beyoncé was joined by her daughter Blue Ivy for a regular dance segment on her Renaissance World Tour, while Pink brought out her daughter Willow for a duet as part of her Trustfall tour.

Antonia and her sister Joanna pictured with Tony in September 2016

Addressing the ‘special experience,’ Antonia explained: ‘Just recently, I saw Dionne Warwick with her granddaughter singing, and I thought, “This is so beautiful, you know, and it’s so special.”

‘It’s such a special experience that not very many people get to have.’

Now, as Antonia continues to forge her own path with a renewed vigor, the singer admitted she is more than happy to ‘stand in [her father’s] light’ as a continuation of his music legacy.

‘I feel like the most important thing is to keep creating, to keep being creative, to keep singing the music that I love,’ she stated. ‘To keep writing songs, to find joy in things and to be inspired by the things around and not to take things for granted. That’s really what I hope to carry on.’

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