He didn’t start the fire, but there could’ve been one last night with all his birthday candles: Billy Joel turned 70 and celebrated onstage at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.
Newsday reports that after the crowd cheered Billy for spending his big day performing for them, he told them, “This is kind of a weird night. What else am I gonna do?”
According to Newsday, the celebration started as fans entered the show, when they were all handed a “Happy Birthday Billy” party hat and a laminated Billy Joel baseball card.
The Piano Man’s eldest daughter Alexa Ray Joel joined him onstage for a duet of “New York State of Mind,” and then led the crowd in singing “Happy Birthday” to her dad, along with Billy’s wife Alexis and their three-year-old daughter Della Rose. Their 19-month-old daughter Remy Anne didn’t appear.
Another special guest was guitar legend Peter Frampton, who performed his hits “Show Me the Way” and “Baby, I Love Your Way.” He returned for the closing number, “You May Be Right.”
Billy’s famous pals also contributed video birthday messages. According to Newsday, huge Billy fan Pink sang a bit of “Just the Way You Are” and added, “You are the greatest, in my eyes, that ever did it.”
Billy’s pal Garth Brooks, who scored a #1 country hit with his version of Billy’s “Shameless,” said in his message, “I think you’re the only guy who gains momentum as he gets older.”
AC/DC‘s Brian Johnson, Don Henley and Paul McCartney also contributed happy birthday video wishes.
Thursday night’s show was the 64th of Billy’s residence and his 110 career appearance at the Garden. The set was packed with nothing but hits, as well as covers of songs by The Rolling Stones and Dion.
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