At Billy Joel’s concerts over the past year, the singer has often dedicated the performance of his 1974 single “The Entertainer” to Donald Trump, with one such shout-out occurring Friday night at Joel’s monthly gig at New York’s Madison Square Garden. While there is debate whether the dedication is genuine or in jest, Trump himself was appreciative of the Piano Man’s name-check, tweeting, “Thank you @BillyJoel- many friends just told me you gave a very kind shoutout at MSG. Appreciate it- love your music!”
Following Trump’s tweet, Time reached out to Joel to get the singer’s take on the “The Entertainer” dedication as well as being loved by the mogul. Joel didn’t offer up his personal political leanings, but he did admit that he has enjoyed watching Trump on the campaign trail.
“I’m in the entertainment business. Donald Trump’s campaign has been very entertaining,” Joel wrote in an email to Time. “Aside from that, who cares about the political opinions of a piano player?”
At recent shows, Joel has also dedicated his “New York State of Mind” to Senator Ted Cruz, who previously ridiculed Trump and his “New York values” during his time campaigning for the Republican presidential candidacy.
Trump isn’t the only presidential candidate that views toadying to Joel fans as a pathway to win New York: In 2000, when Hillary Clinton was running for state senator, her campaign staff infamously accidentally played Joel’s drug-referencing “Captain Jack” – instead of “New York State of Mind” – at a rally, drawing criticism from Rudy Giuliani.