July 30, 2014 at 10:37 AM ET
If any classic jazz fans out there are wondering why genre legend Tony Bennett decided to team up with modern music maven Lady Gaga for an album of American standards, wonder no more. According to Bennett, it's simple: Gaga can really sing.
During a Q&A at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, a high school founded by Bennett and wife Susan in 2001, the crooner explained to TODAY's Lester Holt and an audience of teens what he first saw in the pop star and where he sees her headed.
"The minute I heard (Lady Gaga) sing, I knew that she really knows how to sing," he said. "My first reaction to her is that she's going to be bigger than Elvis Presley throughout her life. She's going to be around forever."
That comment earned a resounding "aw" from the crowd of performing-arts hopefuls.
As for Gaga, she offered some advice to young people craving a similar future.
"Put your head down and play and don't look in that rearview mirror," she said.
Be sure to watch the full clip for a glimpse of the impromptu performance the pair put on for the school.
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