Billy Joel Defends Taylor Swift’s New Yorker Status: 'I Say, "Welcome"'

Myrna Suarex
Billie Joel performs at Madison Square Garden on January 27, 2014

"She catches a lot of junk, maybe because she's so popular with young girls,” said Joel of Swift in a recent interview.

Taylor Swift recently partnered with NYC & Company to become the city’s global welcome ambassador for tourism, and some have taken issue with the “Welcome To New York” songstress representing the city after only spending a few months as one of its residents. What say you, Billy Joel, famed New Yorker and one of the best-selling artists ever?

“I see the New York press going, 'Taylor Swift is going to be the new New York representative?’” Joel said in a recent interview with USA Today. "You snoots. Let her in. That's what New York is all about. I say, 'Welcome.'"

Taylor Swift's '1989' Set for Third Week at No. 1

Joel, who was honored at ASCAP’s Centennial Awards Gala on Monday night (Nov. 17), added that Swift is a “talented songwriter” who doesn’t deserve some of the criticism she has garnered over the course of her career. "She catches a lot of junk, maybe because she's so popular with young girls,” he says. “But I like what she's projecting. I respect what she's doing."

Swift might spend a third week in a row atop the Billboard 200 albums chart with 1989, which scored the biggest sales week of the year upon its release. Joel, meanwhile, will break his own record at Madison Square Garden with a 13h show in his “franchise” residency at the New York arena in January; he previously performed 12 shows in a 2006 series.