Billy Joel returns to perform at the Grammy Awards 20 years after controversial performance

The 'Piano Man' got on stage to perform his first single in almost 20 years.
5 February 2024 6:00PM

Billy Joel has returned to the Grammy Awards stage, twenty years after his last performance embarrassed the Recording Academy live on television.

The Piano Man recounts the last time he was asked to perform at the Grammys in 1994, the Recording Academy "got mad" at him during his 'River of Dreams' performance.

"Frank Sinatra was at those Grammys and he was doing his speech, and he was going on a little too long, so they played him off the stage," he told AP.

"So all the musicians got really bugged about this. And so I did my song, and in the middle of my song I just stopped and I looked at my watch. And I said 'A lot of valuable advertising going by here'."

"I stopped for a long time and then I went back on. So they might be still mad about that." 

The 'Piano Man' brought his wife Alexis and their two daughters: Della Rose, 8, and Remy Anne, 6, out to the 66th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles where he performed his newest song 'Turn the Lights Back On'.

It marks 17 years since he last released a single, and had previously said he retired from songwriting altogether, not long after the release of his 1993 album 'River of Dreams'.

Billy Joel has won five Grammy Awards in his career, including the 'Grammy Legend Award' in 1991, and has been nominated 23 times.

Watch his performance of 'Turn the Lights Back On' in the video below: