Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga: Other dream trans-generational music duos

Aging musicians have often teamed up with singers decades younger for projects: Frank Sinatra did it with his “Duets” albums, which paired the classic crooner with contemporary artists like Bono, Gloria Estefan and Jon Secada (hey, it was the ’90s). Johnny Cash, in his own way, did it without guests, instead recording cover versions of tracks by everyone from Nine Inch Nails to U2 for his “American Recordings” series. Barbra Streisand, very quietly, released one of 2014’s best-selling albums, a series of duets called “Partners” with singers like John Legend, Josh Groban and John Mayer.

That Tony Bennett would follow in the footsteps of Ol’ Blue Eyes, the Funny Girl and the Man in Black is not a surprise. But the companion for the journey caught some off guard: Lady Gaga, she of meat dress fame. The bigger surprise? The album is a legitimately gorgeous collection of jazz standards, sure to keep the songs alive in the eyes of Gaga’s younger fan base.

Bennett is not the only classic artist who could use one more run in the pop culture spotlight, though. Let’s play matchmaker for these acts who have contributed in major ways to music, so that they can get at least one encore bow alongside a chart-topper:


Leonard Cohen with Taylor Swift


The young pop star has caught a lot of grief — some deserved, some otherwise — for constantly writing about her ex-boyfriends. But no one has written better songs about failed relationships than the still-active Cohen.


Bill Withers with Bruno Mars


The soul legend (“Lean On Me,” “Lovely Day,” “Ain’t No Sunshine”) would lend the young Mars gravitas that the latter could use for longevity’s sake. And really, any excuse to get a new Withers recording is a good one: His last album was 1985’s “Watching You Watching Me.”


Cher with Zedd


The big-screen star (“The Witches of Eastwick”) has more than flirted with dance music over the years. What would happen if she went all in with one of today’s hottest EDM hitmakers? Could Zedd alter his formula enough to match Cher’s ’70s dance (read: disco) leanings?

More from around NYC