Billy Joel made history with his Madison Square Garden residency. It’s ending in 2024
Billy Joel has left the building — almost.
Since beginning his residency at New York City’s Madison Square Garden in 2014, the “Piano Man” singer has set performance records, sold more than a million tickets and serenaded countless fans with his classics. Now, he’s ready to bring it to an end.
During a news conference Thursday, Joel announced that he would end his residency in July 2024, with his 150th lifetime performance at the venue.
“It’s hard to believe that we’ve been able to do this for 10 years,” he said. “I didn’t know how long it was going to last.”
Joel, who performs with Stevie Nicks on Friday at SoFi Stadium, on the inspiration for ‘Piano Man,’ farewell tours and his ‘70s hit he now calls ‘dreary.’
He added: “I’m now 74, I’ll be 75 next year. Seems like a nice number.”
The Grammy winner said he was “lucky enough” to perform at the Garden every month since 2014, a gig that was only supposed to continue until demand fell off. Looking back on those first months, Joel said he thought audiences would lose interest after a while. Instead, the opposite happened, as shows kept selling, “and people keep coming.”
The residency eventually led Joel to break the record for the most performances at the Garden. In June 2015, the Long Island native surpassed Elton John — who performed 64 shows — with 65 performances.
Kicking off a joint tour Friday night, the boomer icons played the hits and remembered a departed friend.
“There are a lot of venues out there but only one Madison Square Garden — my home away from home,” he said then.
During Thursday’s news conference, New York City Mayor Eric Adams praised the “Uptown Girl” singer.
“There’s only one thing that’s more New York than Billy Joel — and that’s a Billy Joel concert at MSG,” Adams said. “For more than 50 years, Billy’s music has defined our city and brought us together.”
Joel played his 100th show at the Garden in 2018, and a banner was raised to celebrate the occasion. He later told the New York Times that he didn’t think he’d have “the physical wherewithal” to continue the show five years later.
Celine Dion announced the cancellation of her Courage tour in an Instagram post Friday. She was diagnosed with stiff-person syndrome in December.
Speaking with the Los Angeles Times in March, Joel said the fact that he was still performing at the Garden was “bizarre.”
“At the end of every tour, I feel like that’s it for me: ‘OK, I’m done,’” he said. “And then some time goes by and it’s like, ‘Let’s go out and play.’”
With his residency coming to a close next year, some fans might wonder if a Joel farewell tour (akin to John’s) might be a possibility. Here’s his answer: “I have a disdain for capitalizing on that.
“‘Let me threaten that it’ll be the end, and then I’ll make a lot of money,’” he told The Times in March. “I’ve seen bands so many times announce their farewell tours, and then they never go away. I’ve seen a couple of the Who farewells at this point.”
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