Billy Joel, Mr. Piano Man himself, is celebrating his 66th birthday today (May 9th.) After a quarter century of performing and selling over 150 million albums, Billy has taken up residency at historic Madison Square Garden. He’s paced to perform 24 straight sold out shows and this July, he’ll pass Elton John with 19 performances claiming the title of “most number of performances by any artist” at the venue. To help him celebrate, here our list of the top-5 cameos during his residency at MSG.
1. Brian Johnson
On the rock spectrum, the singer-songwriter qualities and jazz undertones of Billy Joel couldn’t be further away from the hard, driving force of AC/DC. This was no obstacle on December 31st, 2014 when Billy rang in the New Year at MSG. Check out this impromptu performance of “You Shook Me All Night Long” with Billy on the guitar and Brian Johnson on vocals.
On November 25, 2014, Billy surprised his audience with a guest duet. He brought out Sting, who he had worked together with on various philanthropic events including a benefit for Hurricane Sandy back in 2012. The ex-Police member joined Billy onstage to help perform the 1986 hit “Big Man on Mulberry Street.”
3. John Mellencamp
Billy was just full of surprises during his November 25th performance! After surprising the audience with a duet with Sting, he then brought John Mellencamp onstage for a performance of Mellencamp’s 1983 hit, “Crumblin’ Down.” Could you imagine how crazy it would be to see not only one, but three Rock and Roll Hall of Famers all on one stage, in one night?!
4. Howard Stern
Last year, on his birthday, Billy not only performed for fans at MSG, but, he also donated every penny of the show’s proceeds to North Shore Animal League America, the world’s largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption agency. Howard Stern kicked the night off with an emotional introduction for Billy Joel’s 65th birthday performance that gave us the brilliant phrase, “Yes! Fartman cries!”
5. Christie Brinkley
On August 7, 2014, ex-wife Christie Brinkley was front and center for Billy’s performance, and in her honor he performed “Uptown Girl,” which, if you recall the music video also featured Brinkley. At the end of the video above, Brinkley can be seen on the big screen above the stage smiling and supporting her ex-husband.