5 Superb Billy Joel Guest Appearances in Honor of the Piano Man’s 75th Birthday

Here’s sending out Happy Birthday wishes to the Piano Man himself, Billy Joel, who turned 75 on May 9, 2024. Joel is one of the most celebrated and successful singer/songwriters of his generation, with an impressive catalog of hits and many other songs that have become modern standards.

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A quick sampling of some of Joel’s classic tunes includes “Piano Man,” “Say Goodbye to Hollywood,” “New York State of Mind,” “Just the Way You Are” “Only the Good Die Young,” “She’s Always a Woman,” “My Life,” “Big Shot,” “Honesty,” “You May Be Right,” “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me,” “Tell Her About It,” “Uptown Girl,” “A Matter of Trust,” and “We Didn’t Start the Fire.”

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While Joel has mainly been focused on his own work during his career, he has on occasion lent his vocal and musical talents to recordings by other well-known artists.

In honor of Joel’s milestone birthday, here a look at five songs by other noteworthy musicians that feature Joel:

“Be Chrool to Your Scuel” – Twisted Sister (1985)

“Be Chrool to Your Scuel” was a star-packed collaboration that appeared on glam-metal band Twisted Sister’s 1985 album Come Out and Play. The song features Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider sharing lead vocals with Alice Cooper, while Joel can be heard banging away on the piano.

The old-time rock ‘n’ roll-inspired track also features a guitar solo by the Stray Cats’ Brian Setzer and a sax solo by the E Street Band’s Clarence Clemons.

[RELATED: Watch Billy Joel Sing “Uptown Girl” to Ex-Wife Christie Brinkley More than 40 Years After He First Wrote It About Her]

A cartoonish music video for the tune featured comedian Bobcat Goldthwait as a frazzled, gibberish-spewing teacher at a high school whose students have, for some reason, turned into zombies.

While it might seem odd that Joel would collaborate with Twisted Sister, it’s worth noting that both he and the band hail from Long Island, New York. Also, prior to his solo fame, the Piano Man fronted a heavy-metal duo called Attila.

“You Get What You Want” (1986) – Julian Lennon

It’s no secret that Joel is a huge Beatles fan, so it’s not surprising that he would lend a hand to the late John Lennon’s son Julian early on in Julian’s own music career. Joel played piano on “You Get What You Want,” a song from the younger Lennon’s second studio album, The Secret Value of Daydreaming.

The track kicks off with a burst of boogie-woogie piano from Joel before shifting into a bluesy, mid-tempo rock song.

The Secret Value of Daydreaming reached No. 32 on the Billboard 200. The album was produced by Joel’s frequent studio collaborator, Phil Ramone.

“Maybe He’ll Know” (1986) – Cyndi Lauper

Joel lent doo-wop backing vocals to “Maybe He’ll Know,” a track on Cyndi Lauper’s 1986 sophomore album, True Colors.

Lauper had originally recorded “Maybe He’ll Know” with her pre-solo career band Blue Angel. The version featured on True Colors boasted a reggae feel. The song was released as the fifth and final single from the album, although only in Europe. It failed to chart.

True Colors peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 200.

“Just Wanna Hold” – Mick Jones (1989)

Joel contributed vocals to “Just Wanna Hold,” the lead track from Foreigner guitarist Mick Jones’ self-titled 1989 debut solo album. The song was co-written by Jones, Ian Hunter, and some guy named Mick Jagger, credited under the pseudonym M. Phillips.

Hunter sang backing vocals and played piano on the track. The song also features Foreigner drummer Dennis Elliott and keyboardist Jeff Jacobs. In addition, ex-Rainbow/Deep Purple singer Joe Lynn Turner and longtime Joel touring member Crystal Taliefero contributed backing vocals.

Joel makes a cameo in the music video for “Just Wanna Hold,” as does his then-wife, supermodel Christie Brinkley.

Around this same time, Jones co-produced Joel’s 1989 album Storm Front.

“Wichita Lineman” (2010) – Jimmy Webb

In 2010, Joel made a guest appearance on Just Across the River, an album by lauded songwriter Jimmy Webb. Joel shared vocals with Webb on a new version of one of Webb’s most beloved compositions, “Wichita Lineman,” which was a 1968 hit for Glen Campbell.

The track also features dobro by acclaimed bluegrass musician Jerry Douglas.

Billy Joel’s 75th Birthday Plans

Joel will be celebrating his birthday with his latest concert at Madison Square Garden as part of his long-running monthly residency at the famous New York City arena. The May 9 show is one of three final MSG residency performances he has scheduled, along with concerts on June 8 and July 25.

Joel’s 2024 tour itinerary also features a variety of other shows, including headlining gigs and joint performances with Sting, Stevie Nicks, and Rod Stewart. Visit BillyJoel.com to check out his full schedule.

Tickets for Joel’s concerts can be purchased now via a variety of outlets, including StubHub.

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Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

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