Billy Joel taking up residency at Madison Square Garden arena's 1st music franchise

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[December 04, 2013]  (TheWrap.com) Billy Joel will become the first-ever music franchise of Madison Square Garden, taking up an indefinite residency in the venue for one show per month as long as there's demand.

Joel will kick off his new run at The Garden on Jan. 27, 2014. The first four previously announced shows Jan. 27, Feb. 3, March 21 and April 18 are sold out. A May 9th show (the singer's 65th birthday) has just been announced. But the AARP qualifier isn't retiring any time soon after that.

"Performing at Madison Square Garden is a thrilling experience," Joel said. "I've played different venues all over the world, but there's no place like coming home to The Garden. Since my first show in 1978, I've always looked forward to the energy of the crowd."

Over its 130-year history, Madison Square Garden has gained a reputation as a top venue for musicians, as well as for the sports franchises it houses. Joel's first concert at The Garden was held on Dec. 14, 1978 and, since then, he has performed 46 shows in-house.

In 2006, with 12 consecutive performances, Joel broke the venue's record for "Longest Run of a Single Artist." To commemorate the achievement, a banner featuring "Joel 12" was raised to The Garden rafters, alongside those celebrating the legendary athletes who have graced the midtown Manhattan stadium.

Joel has sold more than 150 million records over the past 25 years. He has also received six Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Legend Award. In December, Joel will receive The Kennedy Center Honor, one of the United States' top cultural awards.

Joel has been inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as well. His music has also served as the inspiration and score for the Tony Award-winning Broadway play, "Movin' Out."

Watch Joel's promo video for his new gig:
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[By Tony Maglio]

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