For a veteran musician, having a young artist say you’ve been an influence on them has got to be an ego boost — but it’s probably even more of an ego boost when that young artist actually names a song after you.
Billy Joel has given his seal of approval to singer/songwriter AJ Smith, who recently released a single and video called “Billy Joel.” Billy’s Twitter retweeted an article about AJ and his song, and wrote, “Singer/songwriter @ajsmithmusic pays homage to Billy Joel in his new song, ‘Billy Joel.'”
When a fan responded to the tweet by writing, “Greatest song writer in history. #Billyjoel is a rock god!,” AJ replied, “10000000%. Feeling crazy honored right now. He’s the GOAT.”
As for why he wrote the song, AJ tells American Songwriter that it started when his girlfriend took him to meet her family, and told him that they “love wine, the Mets and Billy Joel.” At dinner, his girlfriend’s brother asked AJ if he knew any Billy Joel songs, so he sat down at the piano and started playing the Piano Man’s greatest hits.
“That night opened my eyes to how much my girlfriend’s family loves Billy Joel. And she does too,” AJ reveals. “When we’re cooking together, I’ll put Billy on shuffle and if Brianna’s had a tough day, it’s immediately better.”
In the song, AJ sings, “Can I hold you close tonight?/I can sing your favorite song/Y’know, the one by Billy Joel.”
”’Billy Joel’ is about coming together after a fight or argument, listening to that song, and starting over,” AJ explains. “Everyone has that favorite song or artist who elevates their mood when they’re feeling down…So thank you, Billy, for helping us connect and for helping us get through tough times together.”
By Andrea Dresdale
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