Billy Joel made a strong statement against the growing neo-Nazi and white nationalism movement on Monday night, taking the stage at New York’s Madison Square Garden wearing a yellow Star of David.
The 68-year-old hitmaker, who was born to Jewish parents and describes himself as culturally Jewish, donned the patch on both the lapel and back of his suit blazer — a reference to the yellow stars Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust.
It was a surprisingly political statement from Joel, who previously told Rolling Stone that he found being lectured about political views at a concert to be a turnoff.
“I try to stay out of politics. I am a private citizen and I have a right to believe in my own political point of view, but I try not to get up on a soapbox and tell people how to think,” he said in June.
Joel appears to have a change of heart as the neo-Nazi, alt-right movement has only gained more visibility — uniting much of the nation in outrage earlier this month after the tumultuous “Unite the Right”‘ rally held in Charlottesville, Virginia left one counter-protester dead.
Jews across Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe were forced to wear yellow stars or armbands signifying their faith and culture in the run-up to World War II. The public identification by the yellow star preceded mass-murder in Nazi concentration camps, which led to the deaths of six million Jews.
Both Joel’s daughter Alexa Ray and ex-wife Christie Brinkley were at the concert, and gave their support to Joel on Instagram for wearing the yellow Star of David.
“Now, THIS Is How You Do It,” Alexa Ray, 31, captioned a shot of her dad and his star.
“THAT’S MY POP!!! Proud Jewish New Yorker Through & Through!!!!! REPRESENT! STAND STRONG. #HellYES #NewYorkStateOfMind #ProudJew #NewYorkStrong #FightForLoveAndInclusion #DiversityMakesAmericaGreat.”
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Said Brinkley: “And on the day of the Solar Eclipse a yellow star appeared on the jacket of another kind of star with a clinched fist that seemed to be gripping painful, no excruciating, memories of loved ones who wore that star to their death.
“May that star also remind you today of the gold stars pinned to the jackets of soldiers for their bravery and valor for fighting an evil so hideous even the gold stars in the sky were afraid to shine.
“Thank you Billy for reminding people what was …so it may never ever be again. My darling @alexarayjoel another reason to be proud of your Pop. #historyteacher #billyjoel #msg #wealreadyfoughtthiswar #nohate.”
Joel’s fashion choice wasn’t the only political statement he made on Monday. In another dig at the president, Joel invited Patty Smyth to the stage Monday night where the two duetted on her hit song “Goodbye to You” as a slideshow of ousted White House officials — including former strategic adviser Steve Bannon, former press secretary Sean Spicer and former communications adviser Anthony Scaramucci — appeared on screen, videos posted on social media shows.