Billy Joel, who continues to influence such contemporary young performers as singer-songwriter Olivia Rodrigo, is extending his reach across the globe, with a singer from the massively popular boy-band BTS giving him a recent shoutout.
In a Weverse interview posted Thursday, South Korean K-pop singer V, born Kim Tae-hyung, discussed his love of classic artists on vinyl records. When asked if any had inspired him for the Jenna Andrews-penned "Butter" — which in May garnered 108.2 million YouTube views to shatter that platform's 24-hour record — the 25-year-old V replied, "Well, there was Billy Joel."
"Its amazing how well they connect with their fans," Joel said in a statement to Newsday.
Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Joel, 72, is ready to hit the road again. His social-media accounts' most recent posts showed the singer and his band "[b]ack in rehearsals getting ready for Fenway!" He plays Boston's Fenway Park on Aug. 4 and, among other tour dates, returns to his pandemic-interrupted Madison Square Garden residency on Nov. 5.
Meanwhile, citing other influences, V went on to say, "When I shoot a music video, I think of a movie more than any one artist. And when I perform on stage, for some songs I think of the way movies like 'Reservoir Dogs' look. For 'Butter,' I watched a lot of teen movies. And musicals. After that I randomly ended up seeing a video on YouTube of some scenes from an old teen movie Johnny Depp did," subsequently identified as writer-director John Waters' "Cry-Baby" (1990). "The image I got from that was really intense. That’s the look I used in 'Butter.' "
In April, 18-year-old multiplatinum music star Rodrigo named Joel in the lyrics of her single "Deja Vu." The song's narrator snipes of her ex-boyfriend's new love interest, "I bet that she knows Billy Joel / 'Cause you played her 'Uptown Girl' / You're singin' it together … But she doesn't know / That I was the one who taught you Billy Joel."
Rodrigo's song, produced and co-written by Massapequa Park-raised Dan Nigro, a member of the 2000s Long Island band As Tall as Lions, was the latest homage in a recent string that includes a viral TikTok video of people dancing to Joel's 1978 "Zanzibar," and an emphasis on his music in last year's second season of the Amazon Prime Video series "The Boys."
In January, two online projects each featured Joel's 1989 hit "We Didn't Start the Fire." The music video "The History of Scotch Whisky," from the website Whisky and Wisdom, repurposes the tune with lighthearted lyrics tracing Scotch from its disputed origins to the present. Then a new podcast about world history from 1949 on launched on Jan. 24, titled "We Didn't Start the Fire." Each episode uses a term from Joel's name-checking lyrics as a springboard to discuss how the subject helped shape global events. Joel himself is not involved.