Billy Joel celebrates milestone birthday at MSG: “I didn’t think I’d be doing this at 75”

Billy Joel turned 75 on May 9, and he celebrated in one of his favorite places: onstage at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Unlike his 65th birthday show at the Garden, and the recent 100th show of his residency at the storied venue, there weren’t any special guests, Newsday reports. The publication, the Piano Man’s hometown paper, speculated that he’s saving the star power for his final residency show on July 25.

The audience booed when Billy mentioned that final show; however, they cheered when he added, “But there’s no reason we couldn’t come back here.”

“I just want to say how grateful I am for all you guys coming out to hear us,” he told the crowd, after the audience serenaded him with “Happy Birthday” and his band members gave him a cake. “I didn’t think I’d be doing this at 75.”

Newsday reports that Billy could be seen wiping one of his eyes throughout the show, but insisted that he wasn’t becoming emotional. “I’m not crying,” he declared. “A lot of weird s*** happens when you’re 75.”

As for the set list, it was full of hits — from “Only the Good Die Young” and “The River of Dreams” to “Piano Man,” “We Didn’t Start the Fire” and “You May Be Right” — as well as his current single, “Turn the Lights Back On.” 

There were also a few deep cuts, such as Glass Houses’ “Sometimes a Fantasy” and “All for Leyna,” An Innocent Man’s “Keeping the Faith” and The Nylon Curtain’s “A Room of Our Own.”

Billy’s next Garden show is June 8. Before that, he’ll play T-Mobile Park in Seattle, Washington on May 24.

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