Olivia Rodrigo was the surprise guest of Billy Joel on Wednesday night during his 82nd consecutive sold-out show at New York’s Madison Square Garden. They performed Rodrigo’s hit the Sour single “Deja Vu” and his own 1983 smash “Uptown Girl,” which was released nearly 20 years before Rodrigo was even born.
Rodrigo was decked out in a plunging black top, a brown patterned skirt and black leather boots.
“I sang with Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden today are u kidding,” the singer shared enthusiastically on Instagram later that night. She also snapped a selfie with the 73-year-old musician, adding: “Biggest honor ever still crying thank u Billy!!!!!!!”
Olivia Rodrigo was criticized for her performance
One of the fans blasted Rodrigo saying,
“I’m so tired of this non-singer era. Get a vocal teacher or stay off stage.”
I’m so tired of this non-singer era. Get a vocal teacher or stay off stage. https://t.co/oHGN15mV02
— Chronic Complainer (@daanegro) August 28, 2022
Beyond a steady stream of hits such as “Just the Way You Are,” “Allentown,” “Only the Good Die Young” and “My Life,” Wednesday’s show included rarities such as the opening “A Matter of Trust” (played for the first time since 2019 and featuring Joel on electric guitar rather than piano), “I Go to Extremes” and “The Downeaster Alexa” (with a ripping solo by guitarist Tommy Byrnes).
Last year, Rodrigo revealed to Rolling Stone that it was actually her co-writer and producer Dan Nigro who came up with the “I bet that she knows Billy Joel / ‘Cause you played her ‘Uptown Girl” lyric, but admits it’s her favorite in the song.
Meanwhile, Joel has sold more than 1.5 million tickets and grossed more than $181 million from his MSG residency, which began in 2014 and has previously featured surprise guest turns from Bruce Springsteen, John Fogerty, AC/DC’s Brian Johnson, Paul Simon, Miley Cyrus and John Mellencamp.
Joel’s final four shows of the year at the venue are set for Sept. 9, Oct. 9, Nov. 23 and Dec. 19. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer will also visit Houston’s Minute Maid Park on Sept. 23 and the ATLive festival in Atlanta on Nov. 11 before one-off shows in Auckland on Dec. 3 and Melbourne on Dec. 10 — his first visits to that part of the world in 14 years.