Here’s Who Billy Joel Originally Wanted to Sing His New Song
“We should send it to Adele,” Freddy Wexler, who co-wrote and produced the song, recalled Joel saying during an interview with Herb Ivy at WBLM-FM.
“I was hellbent and determined not to [sing it],” the Piano Man admitted. “My whole agenda was I don't care what you do, I'm not doing this.”
Though Wexler noted an Adele-sung version of the song “would sound incredible,” he was convinced “Turn the Lights Back On” had to be a Billy Joel tune. Convincing Joel to get behind the microphone was a difficult task.
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“You want me to sing?” Joel recalled asking Wexler, to which the producer adamantly responded, “Dude, you’ve got to get in that booth.”
Joel begrudgingly agreed and was surprised when he listened back to his first take of the song.
“I did a performance of it, I came back into the control room and listened back. Now usually when I was recording, if I’d hear my recording back, I hated my voice," the Piano Man admitted. "So the first thought I would have, ‘Oh my God, Billy Joel singing it. I don't want to hear him.’ And I listened back and I didn't hate it. And that's maybe one of the first times that's ever happened to me. ‘That's actually not bad. I don't hate the singer.’ And it was a complete turnaround for me.”
Billy Joel Has Big Plans for 2024
While fans excitedly welcome the release of "Turn the Lights Back On," Joel is gearing up for even more activity this year. The legendary singer is scheduled to perform at the Grammy Awards on Feb. 4, and he has performances scheduled for later in the year alongside Stevie Nicks, Rod Stewart and Sting.
Meanwhile, Joel's record breaking residency at Madison Square Garden will come to a close following his 150th show at the venue in July.
"It's an ending and a beginning," Joel said of his 2024 plans. "We're ending our Garden run. And we're here we are with a new recording, which I hadn't even conceived of. So it's interesting time right now."
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Gallery Credit: Eduardo Rivadavia