Nothing says New York is back like a gaggle of A-list celebs singing a Billy Joel tune.
In an awe-inspiring montage of the five boroughs set to Joel’s iconic “New York State of Mind,” Idina Menzel, Stephen Colbert, Andy Cohen, Ben Stiller, Joel’s daughter Alexa Ray Joel and others all joined the city’s best known recording artists to sing NYC back to its better days.
The music video — which captures the star-studded lineup at landmarks like the Unisphere, Coney Island, plus the rooftops, ballparks and ordinary streets of Gotham — was made by pandemic recovery group NYCNext to rally around the city’s comeback.
The song selection wasn’t just a happy coincidence, either.
Citing that the original and majestic tune was Joel’s “love letter” to the city during its turbulent years of the mid-’70s, NYCNext re-created his unconditional admiration upon New York’s more modern hardships.
“In this equally challenging time, we realized that this song was precisely the rally cry that New York needs,” the group, which describes itself as “a passionate group of New Yorkers from all disciplines and industries,” said.
Doing so with “with Billy’s support and approval,” the celebs “set out to create an all-new recording and music video that we hope will inspire, lift the spirits of New Yorkers and motivate them toward civic action.
“Our goal with this project is to create a collective movement of New York City pride. We want to celebrate our artists as well as the city we love and inspire everyone to step in and support NYC in whichever way works for them,” Maryam Banikarim, co-founder of NYCNext, said. “This all-volunteer movement is a testament to the power of New Yorkers — creative, passionate doers who step in to help each other and their city when the going gets tough.”
The elaborate music video was also done in conjunction with the public reopening of Broadway theaters, something that makes New York “its best self,” Colbert told CBS Sunday Morning.
“The arts are the oxygen of New York, and Broadway opening is like the city can breathe again.”