AceShowbiz - Billy Joel has postponed his final Madison Square Garden concert of the year, after being placed on "vocal rest due to a viral infection". The rock legend was set to play the 86th show of his residency at the iconic New York venue on Monday night, December 19, however, he's been forced to reschedule the concert to June 2.
The "Piano Man" said in a social media statement, "I'm disappointed to share that I'm under doctor's orders for vocal rest due to a viral infection so unfortunately, I must postpone my Monday, December 19th concert at Madison Square Garden to June. I'm so sorry to let you know so close to show day, but I was hoping to be closer to a full recovery by now. Sadly, that hasn't happened. I look forward to seeing you in the New Year."
The 73-year-old holds the record for the most shows performed at MSG having played a whopping 131 times. He's due to return to the stage on January 13. Next year will also see Billy headline American Express presents BST Hyde Park. The July 7 show will mark his only European appearance of 2023.Meanwhile, a Billy Joel biopic is in the works.
The movie titled "Piano Man" is being developed by Michael Jai White's Jaigantic Studios with Adam Ripp tapped to write and direct. The flick will follow Billy's early years - which saw him discovered by his first manager Irwin Mazur at the age of 16, his performances with a Long Island cover band in the 1960s and the breakthrough performance in 1972 that captured the attention of legendary record producer Clive Davis.
However, Billy's representative says that the singer will not be involved with the movie and that no rights in music, name or likeness or life story will be granted to film chiefs. Jaigantic Studios have instead acquired the life rights to Irwin, who managed Billy from 1965 to 1972 – the year before his breakthrough song and album "Piano Man" was released.
According to the producers, the music needs for the film are "yet to be determined". "Piano Man" will be executive produced by Jaigantic Studios along with producers White, Mayne Berke and Donovan de Boer – along with Irwin and Ripp. Ripp's father Artie signed Billy to his first record deal as a solo artist and produced his debut album "Cold Spring Harbor" in 1971.
He said in a statement, "Billy Joel has been a part of my life since my father signed him to his record label when I was four years old; his music is ingrained in my DNA and it's been a dream of mine as a filmmaker to explore and celebrate the untold story of how Billy Joel became the Piano Man."
Irwin added, "What a dream come true! These are the real-life events I witnessed first-hand that shaped Billy from a keyboard player in the local Long Island band, The Hassles, into the iconic musician, singer-songwriter and entertainer who thrills audiences around the world, today."