Billy Joel’s Triumphant Grammy Return with “Turn the Lights Back On”
In a poignant comeback, Billy Joel graced the Grammy Awards stage during the 66th annual ceremony, delivering an emotional performance of his new single, “Turn the Lights Back On.” Accompanied by a live orchestra, the New York icon enchanted the Los Angeles crowd with soulful vocals, earning a standing ovation.
Reflecting on his hiatus from songwriting in a pre-performance interview, Joel shared, “A lot of people have asked me, ‘Why’d you stop writing?’ Because I didn’t want to. Some people, maybe they have a great time with it. I kind of suffer with songwriting.” Enter Freddy Wexler, a dedicated fan who reignited Joel’s passion after two years of persuasive efforts.
“I did a recording and I listened back and I didn’t hate my voice, which I usually do…So this is actually the first time I’m doing it in 30 years. Freddy got me to find the joy in it again,” Joel expressed. The performance marked Joel’s return to the Grammy stage after 22 years, his last being a rendition of “New York State of Mind” with Tony Bennett.
“Turn the Lights Back On” holds significance as Joel’s first new music release in 17 years. Co-written with Wexler, Wayne Hector, and Arthur Bacon, the romantic ballad explores the prospect of repairing a flawed relationship. Joel’s musical journey includes hits like “All My Life” in 2007 and classics such as “New York State of Mind.”
Throughout his illustrious career, Joel has amassed 23 Grammy nominations, securing six wins. His Grammy history dates back to 1979, with awards for “Just the Way You Are.” The recent nomination in 2002 for “New York State of Mind” showcases his enduring influence, reinforcing Joel’s status as a musical legend.