In Honor Of This Unprecedented Achievement Madison Square Garden To Display Joel’s Piano
GOVERNOR ANDREW M. CUOMO OFFICIALLY PROCLAIMS JULY 18 AS “BILLY JOEL DAY” IN NEW YORK STATE
The Madison Square Garden Company announced today that in honor of Billy Joel’s unprecedented achievement of 100 lifetime performances at The World’s Most Famous Arena, Joel’s piano will be displayed at The Garden. Joel’s 100th lifetime performance comes 40 years after his first MSG performance, on December 14, 1978, and just four and a half years after he began his legendary residency at The Garden. The piano will be on display beginning today outside of Chase Square in front of Madison Square Garden. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has also officially proclaimed July 18, 2018 as “Billy Joel Day” in the State of New York in honor of Joel’s extraordinary history of leadership and contributions to the music industry and New York State.
“Billy Joel’s incredible achievement will set a standard for the entire music industry that may take generations to eclipse,” said James L. Dolan, executive chairman and chief executive officer, The Madison Square Garden Company. “100 shows by a single artist at a single venue is a remarkable testament to the strength of an artist’s connection to his music and his audience. Since Billy first graced The Garden stage in 1978, more than two million fans have heard Billy live at The World’s Most Famous Arena. It is only fitting that we commemorate this extraordinary achievement with the display of his piano, which will serve as a tribute to his unparalleled legacy.”
“Billy Joel is not only one of the greatest entertainers of our time, but also a leading advocate for protecting the environment, honoring first responders and improving the lives of New Yorkers,” Governor Cuomo said. “I am proud to congratulate Billy on this remarkable milestone, and I look forward to seeing him perform for many years to come.”
Over its 130-year history, Madison Square Garden has become known as the preeminent venue for legendary artists and athletes. Billy Joel’s first concert at The Garden was held on December 14, 1978 and, since then, he has performed an astounding 99 concerts at the Arena, with tonight’s performance marking his 100th.
Throughout his legendary career, Billy has both set and surpassed several milestones and now holds two MSG performance-related records:
- In 2006, with 12 consecutive performances, Billy set the record for “most consecutive performances by any artist.” To commemorate the historic moment, a banner stating “Joel – 12” was raised to The Garden rafters, making him the first entertainer in the venue’s history to accomplish this feat.
- Since January 2014, Billy has played one show per month at The Garden as part of his legendary residency.
– In January 2015, Billy broke his own record of the “most consecutive performances by any artist” with the 13th show of the residency.
– In July 2015, with his 65th lifetime show, Billy set a new record for the “most lifetime performances by any artist,” which was previously held by Elton John and which continues to be broken by Billy each month that he performs.
– This evening’s performance will mark the 54th consecutive sold-out show of his residency.
- Billy’s banners hang alongside those of other MSG legends such as Mark Messier, Rod Gilbert, Walt “Clyde” Frazier, Bill Bradley and Willis Reed.
Having sold 150 million records over the past quarter century, scoring 33 consecutive Top 40 hits, Billy Joel ranks as one of the most popular recording artists and respected entertainers in history. The singer/songwriter/composer is the sixth best-selling recording artist of all time and the third best-selling solo artist. In 2016, the Library of Congress selected “Piano Man” for preservation in the National Recording Registry for its “cultural, historic, and artistic significance.”
In November 2014, Billy Joel received The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song which honors living musical artists’ lifetime achievement in promoting the genre of song as a vehicle of cultural understanding, entertaining and informing audiences, and inspiring new generations, as well as the once-in-a-century ASCAP Centennial Award, which is presented to American music icons in recognition of their incomparable accomplishments in their respective music genres and beyond.
In December 2013, Joel received The Kennedy Center Honors, one of the United States’ top cultural awards. He is also the recipient of six GRAMMY® Awards, including the prestigious Grammy Legend Award. Joel has been inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has received numerous industry awards including a TONY AWARD for “Movin’ Out,” a Broadway musical based on Joel’s music. For his accomplishments as a musician and as a humanitarian, Joel was honored as the 2002 MusiCares Person Of The Year by the MusiCares Foundation and the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences.
Joel has also performed alongside other music greats at two of Madison Square Garden’s most extraordinary benefit concerts – “12-12-12, The Concert For Sandy Relief,” which raised awareness and money for those affected by Hurricane Sandy and “The Concert for New York City,” which was held to help aid 9/11 victims and heroes. Billy Joel received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, adding another milestone to his brilliant career.
About The Madison Square Garden Company
The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) is a world leader in live sports and entertainment experiences. The company presents or hosts a broad array of premier events in its diverse collection of iconic venues: New York’s Madison Square Garden, The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and Beacon Theatre; the Forum in Inglewood, CA; The Chicago Theatre; and the Wang Theatre in Boston. Other MSG properties include legendary sports franchises: the New York Knicks (NBA), the New York Rangers (NHL) and the New York Liberty (WNBA); two development league teams – the Westchester Knicks (NBAGL) and the Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL); and one of the leading North American esports organizations, Counter Logic Gaming. In addition, the Company features the popular original production – the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes – and through Boston Calling Events, produces New England’s preeminent Boston Calling Music Festival. Also under the MSG umbrella is TAO Group, a world-class hospitality group with globally-recognized entertainment dining and nightlife brands: Tao, Marquee, Lavo, Avenue, The Stanton Social, Beauty & Essex and Vandal. More information is available at www.themadisonsquaregardencompany.com.
Photo by Laurel Fox