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Billy Joel Defends NYC Tourism Rep Taylor Swift: ‘You Snoots. Let Her In’

“That’s what New York is all about,” Joel says of Swift’s controversial new title

Taylor Swift and Billy Joel

NCP/Star Max; Michael Stewart/Corbis

When Taylor Swift was named New York City’s tourism ambassador last month, the backlash was, well, swift. Critics questioned how much the 24-year-old singer-songwriter could know about the city, given that she’s only lived there for over a year, was born in Pennsylvania and launched her career in Nashville. But she has a fellow pop star, Long Island native Billy Joel, in her corner. “I see the New York press going, ‘Taylor Swift is going to be the new New York representative?'” the singer told USA Today. “You snoots. Let her in. That’s what New York is all about. I say, ‘Welcome.'”

Joel also praised Swift’s songwriting talents. “She catches a lot of junk, maybe because she’s so popular with young girls,” he continued. “But I like what she’s projecting. I respect what she’s doing.”

Swift made the announcement of her controversial new position during an episode of Good Morning America. “I’m still learning, but I’m so enthusiastic about this city that when I love something, I’m very vocal about it,” Swift said. “New York was a huge landscape for what became this album. It’s affected my life in ways I’m not even aware of fully.”

The singer was so inspired by her new home city, she even kickstarted her new album 1989 with the upbeat song “Welcome to New York.”

“I started the album with ‘Welcome to New York’ because New York has been an important landscape and location for the story of my life in the last couple of years,” Swift explained in a statement. “It’s like an electric city, and I approached moving there with such wide-eyed optimism. I saw New York as a place of endless potential and possibilities, and you can hear that reflected in this music and in this song.”

Swift also caused a media stir earlier this month when she abruptly pulled her entire catalog from streaming service Spotify. “Music is changing so quickly, and the landscape of the music industry itself is changing so quickly, that everything new, like Spotify, all feels to me a bit like a grand experiment,” Swift said in an interview with Yahoo. “And I’m not willing to contribute my life’s work to an experiment that I don’t feel fairly compensates the writers, producers, artists and creators of this music. And I just don’t agree with perpetuating the perception that music has no value and should be free.”

In This Article: Billy Joel, Taylor Swift

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