During his concert at Madison Square Garden in New York last night (August 24), Billy Joel brought Olivia Rodrigo to the stage to perform one of their hits each together – Rodrigo’s ‘Deja Vu’, and Joel’s ‘Uptown Girl’.
“I’m going to bring up another young musician. This is a very talented singer-songwriter,” Joel said, rattling off a list of Rodrigo’s accomplishments that included her three Grammy Award wins and Billboard Music Award. “She’s very talented. I like her music and so do my kids. Please say hello to Olivia Rodrigo,” Joel concluded, to roars of applause.
“Thank you so much for having me, Billy,” Rodrigo replied after stepping out. “I’m such a huge fan, and I kind of wrote this next song about you,” she added, before starting to perform her 2021 ‘Sour’ cut ‘Deja Vu’, with Joel accompanying her on piano.
The song notably references a former lover introducing his new partner to Joel’s music: “And I bet that she knows Billy Joel / ‘Cause you played her ‘Uptown Girl,'” Rodrigo sings on its second verse. Later, in the bridge, she adds: “Play her piano, but she doesn’t know / That I was the one who taught you Billy Joel.”
After performing ‘Deja Vu’, the pair came together to perform ‘Uptown Girl’ – or, as Joel put it, “a song that was referred to in the last song, as per Olivia’s request.” Watch fan-shot footage of both performances below:
It’s not the first cross-generational collaboration Rodrigo has been a part of recently. In recent months, Rodrigo has performed ‘You Oughta Know’ alongside Alanis Morissette, ‘Complicated’ with Avril Lavigne, ‘Fuck You’ with Lily Allen and ‘Torn’ alongside Natalie Imbruglia.
Earlier this month, it was announced that Rodrigo will induct Morissette into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in September.
She’s also seemingly returned to the studio with her ‘Sour’ collaborator Dan Nigro, sharing a selfie of the pair on Instagram in which Nigro can be seen holding an acoustic guitar. Back in February, Rodrigo revealed that she’s already decided on a name for her second album, and has “a few songs” in the pipeline for it.
In a four-star review of ‘Sour’ upon its release, NME called the record “an almost-masterpiece that’s equal parts confident, cool and exhilaratingly real” and declared Rodrigo “no flash-in-the-pan artist, but one we’ll be living with for years to come.”