Billy Joel will start a residency at Madison Square Garden in 2014. Credit: Getty
Billy Joel will become the first music franchise of Madison Square Garden, the arena announced Tuesday. Joel will join the New York Knicks, Rangers and Liberty as an original Garden franchise, performing one concert a month at the arena. The first show is scheduled for Jan. 27 but is already sold out — as are the next three.
Joel has a long-running relationship with Madison Square Garden. He first performed there in 1978 and has played 46 engagements since then. He gave 12 performances in a row at the venue in 2006, the longest run of any artist at the Garden.
Joel said in a statement, "Performing at Madison Square Garden is a thrilling experience. I’ve played different venues all over the world, but there’s no place like coming home to The Garden. Since my first show in 1978, I’ve always looked forward to the energy of the crowd. I’m honored to be joining the Madison Square Garden family and look forward to taking the stage of the newly transformed Garden to create many more memorable nights.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo weighed in on the announcement, calling it a "momentous occasion." He added, “It is particularly fitting that these two great icons are coming together to make entertainment history right here in New York. I offer my congratulations to Billy Joel and Madison Square Garden and the millions of fans worldwide who will benefit from this collaboration for years to come.”
Joel will perform at a fundraiser for Cuomo on Tuesday night.