Taylor Swift is notorious for breaking hearts and records, but Billy Joel is convinced she’s more than that.
“It’s like the Beatles of that generation,” he said in an interview with USA Today to promote his return to his Madison Square Garden residence. The venue has been famous for hosting its frequent shows since 2014. This month, Joel added more dates for 2022, including summer shows.
If there was anyone who could make such a great statement, it might just be the piano guy. In his decades in the hit business industry, Joel, 72, has seen trends come and go. But his most recent arrival to younger generations has been through dropping names on songs – like Olivia Rodrigo’s “deja vu” – and spreading on TikTok. His song “Zanzibar” took third place in the platform’s “Best Classical Songs” for 2021.
The “Uptown Girl” singer said he’s familiar with the music of the younger generation, though he said it’s mostly because of his children, who have noticed references to him on the airwaves.
“There are a lot of young people now looking back and they love their parents’ music, which is a strange phenomenon,” he said. “I’ll be in the car with [my kids] When they made me turn [the radio] In and I may hear a reference to me.”
With decades in the music industry comes watching artists transform and emerge – singers like Swift.
He said of the “All Too Well” singer, “Taylor (Swift) is also a very talented girl who is a producer and keeps creating great concepts and songs and she is huge.”
And while many Swifties would agree with Joel’s praise by comparing her to the Fab Four, many Twitter users dared disagree with Joel.
“Taylor Swift is nowhere near the Beatles of this generation. The Beatles are the most iconic and revolutionary musical act in history,” Tweet one user. “Taylor is just a pop singer. Don’t get me wrong, I love Taylor, but she’s not even in the same galaxy as the Beatles.”
Swift, who was named one of Forbes’ “most powerful women” at age 32, has been at the center of this year’s controversy.
From re-igniting tensions with ex Jake Gyllenhaal to accusing her of stealing the lyrics to “Shake It Off,” she’s no stranger to internet dramas — and so are her fans, who are notorious for accusing them of any bad blood on the internet.
But this isn’t the first time Swift has been compared to a creative artist. Fans recently arranged her next to Whitney Houston in a Twitter debate last month that was sparked by a video posted to Barstool’s account. One of the most exciting shots in the video came from Kelly Keegs, who called 11 Grammy Award winner Swift a “goddess” and “our master and savior” – something Joel might agree with.
“You have to give it high marks,” Joel said in an interview with USA Today. “She knows music and knows how to write.”