Watch Olivia Rodrigo Sing ‘Deja Vu’ and ‘Uptown Girl’ with Billy Joel

Watch Olivia Rodrigo Sing ‘Deja Vu’ and ‘Uptown Girl’ with Billy Joel

Billy Joel and Olivia Rodrigo perform at Madison Square Garden - Credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Billy Joel and Olivia Rodrigo perform at Madison Square Garden – Credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

A bit too much A year after introducing teenagers across America to the existence of a singer named Billy Joel and his 1983 song “Uptown Girl” thanks to his hit “Deja Vu,” Olivia Rodrigo took the stage at Joel’s Madison Square Garden concert. on Wednesday night to finally sing both songs with the man himself.

The first sign that Rodrigo was in the house came in the middle of the night when the band began discreetly playing the intro to “Deja Vu”, although few people in the arena seemed to recognize what was happening. “I’m going to raise a young musician,” Joel said. “She’s a triple Grammy winner. She won the 2022 Billboard Woman of the Year award. She has the American Music Award. She has all kinds of awards. She’s very talented. I like her music, and so do my kids. She’s very talented. Please say hello to Olivia Rodrigo.”

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The young members of the crowd cheered when she left, while her parents tried to figure out what was going on. “Hey guys,” she said, facing perhaps the most moderate crowd in her brief career as a touring artist. “Thank you so much for inviting me, Billy. I’m a big fan. I couldn’t have written this next song without you, so thank you.”

A big smile came over Joel’s face as she got to the part of the song “I bet she knows Billy Joel/Because you played ‘Uptown Girl’” and pointed straight at him. And when it was over, he took a mic, gave her a hug and said they were going to do “a song that was mentioned in the last song”.

Billy Joel and Olivia Rodrigo perform at Madison Square Garden

Olivia Rodrigo and Billy Joel perform “Deja Vu” and “Uptown Girl” on stage at Madison Square Garden on August 24, 2022 in New York City.

What followed was the surprisingly surreal sight of Joel and Rodrigo side by side and jokingly swapping verses on “Uptown Girl.” Rodrigo delivered the part “And now she’s looking for a man from the center/That’s what I am” and somehow managed to sell it. This moment seemed inevitable when “Deja Vu” became a hit, but it was even more glorious than anyone could have imagined. “Thanks, Billy,” she said as they hugged at the end. “I love you.”

The surprise duet with Joel will only boost Joel’s standing with the Gen Z audience who turned his 1978 “Zanzibar” deep cut into a TikTok dance craze last year. If you think we’re kidding, check out these 262,000 videos that use the same little snippet of your music. “I don’t even know what TikTok is,” he told a crowd last year. “But that’s one thing.”

Olivia Rodrigo’s part was the highlight of an extremely lighthearted Billy Joel show that ranged from hits like “A Matter of Trust,” “Only The Good Die Young” and “My Life” to fan favorites like “Don’t Ask Me Why”, “The Animator” and “An Innocent Man”. On the last song, Joel somehow hit the same impressive high notes as the original recording nearly 40 years ago.

Joel’s monthly residency at Madison Square Garden began as a small experiment in 2014, but is now firmly established as one of the most trusted rock concerts anywhere on the planet. There’s something unique about every show, and even hits like “Piano Man” and “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant” somehow sound fresh and exciting when you sign them together with 20,000 other people.

And with all due respect to Harry Styles and his 15-night MSG residency, which is really impressive, Joel is 82 months and counting. Harry has a long way to go before he catches up with him.

Billy Joel and Olivia Rodrigo perform at Madison Square Garden

Olivia Rodrigo and Billy Joel perform “Deja Vu” and “Uptown Girl” on stage at Madison Square Garden on August 24, 2022 in New York City.

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