Billy Joel marked his return to Madison Square Garden by showing off his impressive 50-pound weight loss. The "Uptown Girl" singer, 72, returned to the arena where he's had a concert residency since 2014 on Friday, Nov. 5 for the first time since the start of the pandemic, though he looked much slimmer than his last MSG appearance in February of last year.
Taking the stage for the first time since his shows were postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the "Piano Man" donned a black suit and tie that showed off his slimmer figure. Joel recently shed 50 pounds, according to the Daily Mail, and during his appearance, the famed musician "displayed more energy and endurance, bouncing around the stage to 'We Didn't Start the Fire,' 'Uptown Girl' and 'It's Still Rock and Roll to Me' in the encore," the New York Post's music critic Chuck Arnold wrote of the Friday show. During an appearance on The Howard Stern Show two weeks ago, Joel revealed that his weight loss was in part due to his painful recovery from back surgery.
Billy Joel shows off his dramatic 50 pound weight loss as he returns to Madison Square Garden https://t.co/AUouPoxety— Daily Mail Celebrity (@DailyMailCeleb) November 9, 2021
"I had back surgery early this year and the pain afterward was so bad that I lost my appetite. I embraced that. I said, 'OK, I won't eat as much.' And I ate less and less and less and less and then there was just life aggravation and that tends to, you know, impact your appetite too," he explained, adding that while the weight loss wasn't intentional, he was grateful for it. "I had gotten kind of chunky. I was happy to lose the weight."
Joel's weight loss comes after he opened up about getting older when speaking to Rolling Stone in 2019 ahead of his 70th birthday. The musician told the outlet, "This is a Peter Pan kinda job. You start out, and you're young, and you're rockin' and rollin', and that's what you do all your life. You become a little myopic about how old you actually are." He added that when he sees photos of himself at MSG, he goes, "'That don't look right.' I got old, I lost my hair. I was never a matinee idol to begin with, and there I am onstage still doing the same job I was doing when I was 16."
Joel also may have his children to credit for keeping him in shape. Joel is a proud dad to Della Rose, 6, and Remy Anne, 4, whom he shares with wife Alexis Roderick. He told Rolling Stone that the youngsters "keep you young."