Looking resplendent in a black and gold strapless gown, Carrie Underwood welcomed her duet partner, Tony Bennett, to the 2012 Grammy Awards stage with quite an intro. She called him “the best new artist of all time,” since he continues to reach a new generation of fans year after year with his music.

That’s not easy to do, at all, especially since younger fans are so fickle. But performing with a young superstar like Underwood is certainly a way to reach a whole other sector of fans. Underwood and Bennett were also tapped to present the Best New Artist award after their performance, so that’s another reason why she creatively referenced him as a “new” artist.

After the intro, Bennett joined Underwood onstage and was met with a standing ovation from the crowd. The May-December duo then launched into their duet of ‘It Had to Be You,’ which appeared on Bennett’s ‘Duets II’ album. It was a sweet, tender and totally complimentary performance between a classic artist and a modern one. Their performance was utterly seamless.

After their 2012 Grammys number, Underwood said, “Thank you Tony!” He continues to make great music with the energy and passion of artists half his age, so he is deserving of her thanks — and ours. The pair then proceeded to present the Best New Artist award to Bon Iver. Clearly, the artists that sing together hand out Grammy Awards together!

Watch Carrie Underwood Perform With Tony Bennett at 2012 Grammys

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