The “Piano Man” will hit the stage at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards, after releasing his new single “Turn the Lights Back On.” Find out more about the singer’s future here.
By: James Crowley
Few singers have had the type of longevity that Billy Joel has had. Releasing his debut solo album in 1971, Billy, 74, became a sensation with his 1973 record Piano Man, which has become his signature song and his nickname. The singer has had many more hits throughout his career, including tunes like “Just the Way You Are”, “Movin’ Out”, and “Only the Good Die Young.” Besides having popular songs and albums, Billy has become renowned for his live shows, and he continues to be immensely popular even five decades into his career.
Some of Billy’s best and most famous concerts have taken place at his home state’s historic venue Madison Square Garden in New York City. He holds the title of artist who has played the arena the most times, and in recent years, he took up an indefinite residency at The Garden in 2014. After a decade, the run will come to an end in 2024. With his series of shows at MSG ending, fans are left wondering what that means for the Piano Man. While it’s certainly the end of an era, it doesn’t seem like Billy is planning on retiring. He just released his first new song in 17 years “Turn the Lights Back On” on February 1, and he’s slated to perform at the 2024 Grammy Awards on Sunday, February 4, 2024.
Here are all the details we have about whether Billy is retiring or not.
Billy Joel’s Historic Madison Square Garden Run
Billy’s career at the Garden began almost 50 years ago, when he first played at the venue on December 14, 1978. He recalled his first time headlining at MSG in a press release in June 2023. “I do remember the first time we played Madison Square Garden, it was the pinnacle of my career. I thought, ‘My God, I’m headlining Madison Square Garden.’ Everybody in the world knows when you play The Garden, it’s not just New York,” he said.
Since then, the “Captain Jack” singer has celebrated countless milestones at The Garden. In 2006, he broke Bruce Springsteen’s record for most concerts at MSG when he played for 12 nights over the course of one tour. The performances were documented on his album 12 Gardens Live.
In 2014, he announced his monthly concert residency at MSG, close by to his home in Long Island. In 2018, Billy hit the milestone of having his 100th concert at the Garden, and Bruce came out to join him for renditions of E Street Band staples “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” and “Thunder Road.”
When Is Billy Joel’s Final MSG Show?
In June 2023, Billy announced that his monthly residency at Madison Square Garden would come to an end in July 2024. When he plays the last show, it will be his 150th performance at MSG. “I’m kind of flabbergasted that it lasted as long as it did. My team tells me that we could continue to sell tickets, but ten years, 150 shows – all right already!” he said in a press release. “To our audience, I want to thank them for coming to our shows for this long. It’s hard to end, even at 150 lifetime shows. I just want to thank everyone for the wonderful thing that’s happened here.”
Now with the date coming up, Billy revealed that the final show of his residency will come on July 25, 2024. Tickets for the show went up on presale on November 6, 2023, per Consequence.
Billy Joel’s New Song
While Billy had slowed down releasing new music a lot in recent years, he did surprise fans when he dropped his first new song in 17 years “Turn the Lights Back On” on February 1, 2024. As one would expect, it was a beautiful ballad built around the piano, but it also featured Billy looking both back on the past and to the future.
Is Billy Joel Retiring?
While Billy’s MSG run may be coming to an end, that doesn’t mean he plans on slowing down. Luckily for fans, it was reported that he’s not retiring in a piece about the residency ending by The New York Times. Along with releasing his first single in years, Billy is also slated to perform at the 2024 Grammy Awards. He also has a ton of tour dates across the U.S. alongside fellow rock legends in the lead-up to the final MSG show and afterward. The other classic rockers that he’ll be performing with through the end of the year include Stevie Nicks, Sting, and Rod Stewart. His last show currently announced is one with Sting at Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium on November 9, 2024.