Olivia Rodrigo Joins Billy Joel For a Surprise Performance at Madison Square Garden
Olivia Rodrigo joined Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden for a surprise performance of her bitter, dreamy hit single “Deja Vu” and a rendition of Joel’s “Uptown Girl” on Aug. 24. In “Deja Vu,” Rodrigo sings the lines, “I bet that she knows Billy Joel ’cause you played her ‘Uptown Girl,'” and later mentions him again in the bridge when she sings, “I was the one who taught you Billy Joel.” Clearly, Joel got a kick out of the shout-outs, since he had her join him on stage at his Garden residency, which he has held since 2014. “She’s very talented. I like her music, and so do my kids,” 73-year-old Joel said from his piano as he introduced 19-year-old Rodrigo.
Ironically, Rodrigo’s Joel references weren’t actually drawn from her own life experiences. “Dan actually came up with the Billy Joel lyric . . . which is probably my favourite lyric,” Rodrigo said in an April 2021 interview with Rolling Stone, referencing her producer and cowriter, Dan Nigro. “Just trying to make Long Island represent as much as possible in this,” added Nigro, who, like Joel, is from Long Island, New York.
Rodrigo – who concluded her “Sour” tour in London on July 7 and is currently at work on her sophomore album – is the latest guest to join Joel at Madison Square Garden during his residency; previous guests have included Bruce Springsteen and Miley Cyrus. At the show, Joel gave a shout-out to another star: Harry Styles, who is currently in the middle of a 15-show run at the Garden, which kicked off on Aug. 20. “I’d like to thank Harry Styles for taking the night off, so we can kind of squeeze in here,” Joel teased.