Billy Joel Returns to ‘The Howard Stern Show’

The “Turn the Lights Back On” singer opened up about his songwriting process and more.

Jackie Kolgraf
February 14, 2024

Billy Joel returned to The Howard Stern Show on February 14, 2024, to talk to Howard Stern about “Turn the Lights Back On,” his songwriting process, “We Are the World,” and more, live from the SiriusXM Miami Studios.

Listen to the acclaimed singer-songwriter’s full interview with Howard on the SiriusXM app now.

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Special Guest: Billy Joel on 'The Howard Stern Show' - Listen Now button

During his appearance on The Howard Stern Show, while seated at a piano, Billy Joel discussed his recently released single “Turn the Lights Back On” (which Howard described as “so beautiful”). Billy talked about the real meaning behind the lyrics and how songwriter Freddy Wexler influenced him to finally create new music after such a long time.

Looking back, Billy and Howard also delved into Billy’s 1989 song “And So It Goes” — and the relationship that inspired it — as well as the new Netflix documentary around the celebrity charity recording of “We Are the World” in 1985.

“Nobody knew what the song was gonna be,” Billy said, sharing behind-the-scenes memories of the star-studded day. “I’m standing next to Cyndi Lauper and … she’s leaning over to me and going, ‘This song sounds like a Pepsi commercial.'”

billy joel with his wife and howard stern

(L to R) Howard Stern, Beth Stern, Alexis Roderick, and Billy Joel on February 14, 2024 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Jason Koerner/Getty Images)

He added, “Bob Dylan was shy to sing on his own, so Stevie Wonder comes out and is telling Bob how to sing like Bob Dylan … Funny stuff was happening.”

Billy continued, “Sometimes Bruce [Springsteen] and I are in the chorus and sometimes we’re not, because there was a big pile of deli sandwiches on the other side of the room, and we kept going over to get a beer and a sandwich.”