Taylor Swift is the younger generation’s Beatles

Taylor Swift is known for breaking hearts and records, but Billy Joel is convinced she’s more than that.

“She’s like that generation’s Beatles,” he said in an interview with USA Today promoting his return to his Madison Square Garden residency. The venue has famously hosted his recurring shows since 2014. This month, Joel added more dates for 2022, including summer performances.

If there’s anyone who can make such a grand statement, it just might be the Piano Man. In his decades crafting hits, Joel, 72, has seen trends come and go. But his most recent reach to younger generations has been through name-drops on songs — like Olivia Rodrigo’s “deja vu” — and going viral on TikTok. His song “Zanzibar” took third place on the platform’s “top Classic tracks” for 2021.

Joel claimed new upcoming concert dates for 2022 at Madison Square Garden, where he has a monthly residency.
Getty Images

The “Uptown Girl” singer said he’s familiar with the younger generation’s music, although he said it’s mostly because of his kids, who notice references to him on the airwaves.

“There are a lot of younger people now looking backward and they like their parents’ music, which is a strange phenomenon,” he said. “I’ll be in the car with [my kids] when they make me turn [the radio] on and I might hear a reference to me.”

With decades in the music industry also comes watching artists morph and emerge —namely, singers such as Swift.

“Taylor (Swift) is also a very talented girl and she’s productive and keeps coming up with great concepts and songs and she’s huge,” he said of the “All Too Well” singer.

taylor swift
Swift has been at the heart of her own internet controversies this year.
NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

And while plenty of Swifties may agree with Joel’s praise comparing her to the Fab Four, many Twitter users dared to disagree with Joel.

“Taylor Swift isn’t even close to this generation’s Beatles. The Beatles are the most iconic, revolutionary, and most important musical act in history,” tweeted one user. “Taylor is just a pop singer. Don’t get me wrong, I love Taylor, but she’s not even in the same galaxy as the Beatles.”

Swift, who was named one of the “most powerful women” by Forbes at 32, has been at the heart of controversy this year.

From reigniting tension with ex Jake Gyllenhaal to being accused of stealing lyrics to her hit “Shake It Off,” she’s no stranger to the drama of the internet — and neither are her fans, who famously take to task any bad blood online.

Taylor Swift
Like it or not, Swift has topped charts this year with her re-recordings of old music.
Getty Images

But this isn’t the first time Swift has been compared to an iconic artist. Fans recently sized her up next to Whitney Houston in a Twitter debate last month ignited by a video posted to a Barstool account. One of the hottest takes in the video came from Kelly Keegs, who called Swift, an 11-time Grammy winner, a “goddess” and “our lord and savior” — something Joel might agree with.

“You have to give her high marks,” Joel said in the USA Today interview. “She knows music and she knows how to write.”