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See Billy Joel Pay Tribute to Gordon Lightfoot With ‘Sundown’ Cover at MSG

Piano Man previously played “If You Could Read My Mind” on social media following Lightfoot’s May 1 death

Billy Joel paid tribute to the late Gordon Lightfoot by performing the Canadian songwriting legend’s “Sundown” Friday at the Piano Man’s monthly visit to Madison Square Garden.

“You might know him from the hit records he had,” Joel told the audience before launching into a minute-long rendition of the 1974 single, one of Lightfoot’s most revered tracks. “I want to say ‘thank you,’ and rest in peace .”

Joel then dedicated his own “The Downeaster ‘Alexa’” to Lightfoot, who Joel pictured singing the track when he wrote the Storm Front single.

Following Lightfoot’s May 1 death at the age of 84, Joel initially honored the beloved folk-rock troubadour with a rendition of the classic “If You Could Read My Mind” on his home piano:


“So sad to hear of the death of Gordon Lightfoot. He was a lifelong musical hero of mine. His songs were the heart of Canada. R.I.P,” Joel wrote.

Neil Young also paid tribute to Lightfoot, calling him  a “great Canadian artist” and “a songwriter without parallel.” He continued, “His melodies and words were an inspiration to all writers who listened to his music, as they will continue to be through the ages. There is a unique and wonderful feeling to Gordon’s music.” 

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