Grammy-winning rocker Billy Joel is set to host a high-dollar fundraiser next month in support of Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s bid for a third term in office.
According to a Tuesday report from the New York Post gossip section Page Six, “The Piano Man” Joel will play his hits for Democratic supporters willing to shell out $5,000-a-head. $7,500 will get you “priority seating” for the dinner and show. The venue is Billy and Alexis Joel’s estate in the ritzy Nassau County suburb of Centre Island, New York, the same spot where, in 2015, Gov. Cuomo officiated the Joels’ wedding.
Joel also hosted a fundraiser concert for Cuomo’s second gubernatorial campaign back in 2013.
This time around, Cuomo faces a primary challenge from the left in the person of Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon. Nixon is running well behind the incumbent Cuomo, but has racked up the endorsements of the so-called “progressive” Left. Left-wing magazine the Nation called her “a proven fighter not just for education, but for marriage equality and women’s rights,” and slammed Cuomo for what they see as backsliding on the leftist agenda.
Joel is long-time high-profile Democrat, reportedly sharing a cigarette break with then-President Barack Obama at the White House in 2014. Unlike many of his fellow left-leaning celebrities, however, has sought to keep a certain separation between his personal politics and his public role of an entertainer.
“I’ve been to shows where people start haranguing the audience about what’s going on politically and I’m thinking, ‘You know, this isn’t why I came here,’” Joel told Rolling Stone last year. “As a matter of fact, one of the biggest cheers of the night comes when we do ‘Piano Man’ and I sing, ‘They know that it’s me that they’re coming to see to forget about life for a while,’ and the audience lets out this huge ‘ahhhh’ and I say, ‘OK, yeah, don’t forget that.’”
In 2016, Joel got a data point to support that policy after some Democrats reacted with outrage when he — as a gag — dedicated a song to then-candidate Donald Trump at a concert. The singer-songwriter was later forced to confirm that he would, in fact, be voting for Hillary Clinton.