- Publish Date
- Wednesday, 10 November 2021, 5:58PM
The piano man is back!
Billy Joel made his triumphant return to New York City's Madison Square Garden after the pandemic forced him to cancel his 2020 tour — about 22kg lighter.
Whether he was behind the piano or on his feet, there was no missing Joel's trimmer figure as he wowed fans with his usual hits.
During a recent interview with Howard Stern, the 'Uptown Girl' hitmaker revealed that his shrinking frame was the unintended result of back surgery he underwent earlier this year.
"The pain afterwards was so bad I lost my appetite," he explained.
Billy Joel in 2019 and in 2021.
"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."
The 72-year-old New York native admitted that he didn't intend to lose the weight, but he was satisfied with the results all the same.
"I had gotten kind of chunky," he joked. "I was happy to lose the weight."
And it seems ditching the pounds has had a positive impact on his stage presence.
As The Post's music critic Chuck Arnold reported of his first show back that Joel "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."
Joel's concerts at various stadiums around the country as well as his Madison Square Garden residency shows were all postponed during the pandemic.
On November 5, he kicked off an 11-stop tour, starting in New York City.
It's unclear why Joel had the recent back surgery.