NEW YORK (AFP) – Pop great Billy Joel donned a yellow Star of David at a concert in New York in a powerful but silent statement against white supremacy following the violence in Charlottesville.
The Piano Man, who is rarely overtly political, returned Monday night to play his encore at Madison Square Garden sporting the Star of David on the front and back of his suit, photos posted online by fans showed.
Nazi Germany forced Jews to wear the religious symbol to identify them as it pursued its genocide. Joel was born to Jewish parents in New York, with his father, also a pianist, fleeing Germany where remaining relatives were killed in the Holocaust.
Joel — whose concert at the iconic Manhattan arena was his 90th, breaking his own record — made no comment as he played his hits during his encore including “Uptown Girl.”
His daughter, Alexa Ray Joel, on Instagram called her father a “proud Jewish New Yorker through and through” and in an earlier posting voiced outrage at US President Donald Trump’s sympathetic comments on protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Trump last week said there were “very fine people” on both sides during the demonstration, which was called by neo-Nazis and other far-right extremists. One woman died in the unrest after an avowed white supremacist rammed a car into a group of counter-protestors.