WATCH: Billy Joel Lights Up Empire State Building

Billy Joel appears in Times Square during the Rise Up New York! telethon on May 11, 2020.
Billy Joel appears in Times Square during the Rise Up New York! telethon on May 11, 2020. (Image credit: Robin Hood)

On Monday, May 11, the Empire State Building illuminated the New York City skyline with a light show synced to New York legend Billy Joel's new recording of "Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)" as part of Robin Hood and iHeartMedia's Rise Up New York! virtual telethon. 

The telethon was broadcast on screens throughout Times Square as well as on all New York City television stations, iHeartMedia and Entercom broadcast radio stations, News 12, Spectrum News NY1, Sirius XM, and nationally on CNBC.

Skip to 1:57 to see the concert and the AV in action.

Robin Hood, New York's largest poverty-fighting organization, is amping up its efforts to provide recovery and relief to the organizations that serve the city's most vulnerable. Together with Billy Joel, the Empire State Building organization created the show as a call to action to inspire those who can to donate to help New Yorkers rebuild their lives after being impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

"The Empire State Building is honored to work with Billy Joel, a music icon synonymous with New York, to bring attention to Robin Hood," said Anthony E. Malkin, chairman and CEO of Empire State Realty Trust. "ESB annually lights for Robin Hood's fundraiser, and we are excited to partner with our friends at iHeartMedia to bring even more attention to the great work this organization accomplishes."

Empire State Building light show on May 11, 2020

The Empire State Building's lights were synced to Billy Joel’s "Miami 2017" in a brand-new music-to-light show on May 11, 2020. (Image credit: Empire State Realty Trust)

"Robin Hood's Rise Up New York! benefit was a moment to recognize the incredible resiliency of our fellow New Yorkers, who continue to come together in the fight against this pandemic, culminating in a Billy Joel performance set against the backdrop of the iconic Empire State Building flashing green for Robin Hood," said Wes Moore, CEO of Robin Hood. "It's an honor to continue our meaningful partnership with the Empire State Building to shine a light on our work and show our neighbors every night this week that we stand shoulder-to-shoulder together as we recover from this crisis."

"iHeartMedia and New York's Q104.3 are proud to partner with ESB and the Robin Hood Foundation to provide the musical backdrop for the lights of ESB moving to the tunes of New York's own Billy Joel's iconic 'Miami 2017,'" said Thea Mitchem, executive vice president of programming for iHeartMedia. "This is a time when all New Yorkers come together, inspire action, and lend a helping hand to our neighbors in need."

To stay up to date with the impact of coronavirus on pro AV, subscribe to our enews

The AVNetwork staff are storytellers focused on the professional audiovisual and technology industry. Their mission is to keep readers up-to-date on the latest AV/IT industry and product news, emerging trends, and inspiring installations.