Billy Joel to become Madison Square Garden 'franchise'

Madison Square Garden is home to the Knicks, Rangers, New York Liberty and now Billy Joel as the singer will be established as the first entertainment franchise for the venue.

Joel and the Garden announced Tuesday that, starting in January, the singer will begin playing one show a month for as long as there is a demand.

The open-ended run of shows is an unprecedented move for a major venue not inside a Las Vegas hotel. But the Garden tapping the Piano Man for such a venture isn’t surprising. Since 1978, Joel has played a record-breaking 47 shows at the venue, 12 of those during a sold-out residency in 2006.

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“Performing at Madison Square Garden is a thrilling experience. I’ve played different venues all over the world, but there’s no place like coming home to the Garden,” Joel said in a statement. “Since my first show in 1978, I’ve always looked forward to the energy of the crowd. I’m honored to be joining the Madison Square Garden family and look forward to taking the stage of the newly transformed Garden to create many more memorable nights.”

Joel's first four concerts — Jan. 27, Feb. 3, March 21 and April 18 — quickly sold out. A fifth show, set for the singer’s 65th birthday on May 9, goes on sale Dec. 7.


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