Billy Joel Lights Up 2024 Grammys with Emotional Debut of New Song
via Danny - Billy Joel Archivist / YouTube
In an emotional and unforgettable performance, Billy Joel made a triumphant return to the Grammy stage after a 22-year break, unveiling his latest single, “Turn the Lights Back On.” Wearing his iconic sunglasses, the legendary artist played the heartfelt ballad on the piano, accompanied by his loyal touring band and a captivating string section. The night was made even more special with the comebacks of Tracy Chapman and Joni Mitchell.
Trevor Noah, addressing the crowd with excitement
“That’s right, ya’ll! One of the greats!”
The audience erupted in cheers, recognizing the significance of Joel’s return to the Grammy spotlight after more than two decades.
“Turn the Lights Back On” marks Joel’s first new song since 2007’s “Christmas in Fallujah.” Despite the Grammys mistakenly labeling it as Joel’s first single in 31 years, fans remember the release of “All My Life” in 2007, making it a 17-year gap since his last musical endeavor. The romantic ballad, produced by Freddy Wexler, renowned for his work with Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande, delves into themes of rediscovering lost romance. Wexler collaborated with Joel, Wayne Hector, and Arthur Bacon in crafting this emotionally charged composit
In a heartfelt moment
Joel, through the lyrics, seems to connect directly with his audience, acknowledging the delay in delivering new material:
“I’m late. But I’m here right now/And I’m trying to find the magic that we lost somehow/Maybe I was blind, but I see you now.”
These words add a personal touch to the song, creating a poignant connection between the artist and his fans.
Closing the unforgettable night on a high note, Joel treated the audience to his 1980 classic, “You May Be Right,” a song that has become a staple closer in his live performances. The timeless hit served as a perfect bookend to an evening filled with nostalgia and the introduction of fresh, evocative music.
Joel’s last Grammy appearance dates back to 2022 when he collaborated with Tony Bennett on “New York State of Mind.”
Reflecting on his Grammy history, the artist shared the stage in 1994, playing “River of Dreams.” However, that particular performance became noteworthy for Joel’s interruption, stopping mid-song to humorously address the producers’ decision to cut off Frank Sinatra. The incident brought laughter and applause from the audience, showcasing Joel’s wit and spontaneity.
Looking ahead, Billy Joel has an exciting year planned, with a series of performances at baseball stadiums across America, featuring opening acts such as Stevie Nicks, Sting, and Rod Stewart. Simultaneously, he is concluding his decade-long monthly residency at Madison Square Garden, with the grand finale set for July 25.
Billy Joel’s return to the Grammy stage was a touching and memorable occasion, marked by the debut of “Turn the Lights Back On.” The artist’s ability to seamlessly blend the nostalgia of his classics with the freshness of new material ensures a continued and heartfelt connection with his dedicated fan base.