The Year in Music: Legendary stars kept busy in 2023

Younger artists like Miley Cyrus, Harry Styles, Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran may have grabbed the headlines this year, but veteran artists continued to make their mark in 2023.

Billy Joel

Billy Joel unexpectedly launched a joint stadium tour with Stevie Nicks, playing dates across the country in between his regular monthly residency shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Those five dates grossed $56 million, enough to make Billboard‘s list of Top 40 Tours of the year. Billy also announced several 2024 dates with his pal Sting.

Meanwhile, Billy returned to the Billboard Hot 100 — as a songwriter — for the first time since Glee covered his songs in 2011. That was thanks to Fall Out Boy‘s cover of his #1 song “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” He also got a street named after him in his hometown of Oyster Bay, Long Island, and a museum exhibit dedicated him in Stony Brook, Long Island.

In addition, Billy made headlines by announcing that he’d end his Madison Square Garden residency with his 150th career show at the famed venue, which will take place July 25. Before that, he plans to celebrate his 75th birthday onstage at the Garden on May 9.

Cher

In 2023, Cher released her first album of original material in 10 years and her first holiday collection, Christmas, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Holiday Albums chart. In November, the first single, “DJ Play a Christmas Song,” topped the Billboard Dance/Electronic Song Sales chart, giving her at least one #1 song for seven straight decades, from the 1960s to the 2020s. 

Christmas featured guests artists like Darlene Love, Cyndi Lauper, Michael Buble and Stevie Wonder, as well as production from Cher’s boyfriend, Alexander “AE” Edwards. She told People, “He’s just so special. No matter what happens, I love being with him … what I learned is that it’s never too late.”

The Beatles & The Eagles

The world got a new Beatles song in 2023: “Now and Then.” It was created from a ’70s piano and vocal track written and recorded by John Lennon, guitar parts recorded by George Harrison in the ’90s, and new musical contributions from Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. The song, which hit the top 10, also came with a video and a “making-of” documentary.

The Eagles embarked on what they’re calling their “farewell” tour, dubbed The Long Goodbye. The tour is expected to continue into 2025, as the band plans to do as many shows in each city as the audience demands. Tour dates can be found at eagles.com.

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