meta-scriptHow The Latin GRAMMYs Brought Latin Music Excellence To The 2024 GRAMMYs | GRAMMY.com
Peso Pluma at the 2024 GRAMMYs
Peso Pluma attends the 2024 GRAMMYs

Photo:  Lester Cohen/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

news

How The Latin GRAMMYs Brought Latin Music Excellence To The 2024 GRAMMYs

Latin music was celebrated throughout GRAMMY Week and on Music's Biggest Night. Read on for the many ways Latin music excellence was showcased at the 204 GRAMMYs.

GRAMMYs/Feb 9, 2024 - 09:56 pm

The 2023 Latin GRAMMYs may have occurred months ago and thousands of miles away, but the leading lights in Latin music also shined at the 66th GRAMMY Awards. From historic wins and meaningful nominations, to electric performances and interesting installations, Latin music excellence was everywhere. 

In anticipation of the 25th anniversary of the Latin GRAMMYs in 2024, the exclusive GRAMMY House — the site of multiple GRAMMY Week events — included a significant installation dedicated to the Biggest Night In Latin Music.

The cylindrical display showcased some of the biggest moments in Latin GRAMMY history, including images, facts, and even a real Latin GRAMMY award. 

The celebration of Latin music continued throughout GRAMMY Week, with several Latin GRAMMY-winning artists also winning on the GRAMMY stage. Among the major moments at the 2024 GRAMMYs, Karol G won her first golden gramophone for her 2023 LP Mañana Será Bonito. "This is my first time at GRAMMYs, and this is my first time holding my own GRAMMY," the Colombian songstress exclaimed during her acceptance speech. 

Música Mexicana star Peso Pluma also took home his first GRAMMY; his album GÉNESIS won in the Best Música Mexicana Album (Including Tejano) Category.

Premiere Ceremony presenter Natalia Lafourcade — whose Todas Las Flores won big at the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs — also took home the GRAMMY Award for Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album. She tied in the Category with Juanes

Premiere Ceremony performer Gabby Moreno also took home a GRAMMY Award for Best Latin Pop Album for her album X Mí (Vol. 1)

Beyond the stage, Latin artists graced the red carpet and the nominations list. For example, producer and songwriter Edgar Barrera was the only Latino nominated in the Songwriter Of The Year, Non-Classical Category.

10 Must-See Moments From The 2024 GRAMMYs: Taylor Swift Makes History, Billy Joel & Tracy Chapman Return, Boygenius Manifest Childhood Dreams

Photo of a gold GRAMMY trophy against a black background with white lights.
GRAMMY Award statue

Photo: Jathan Campbell

list

How Much Is A GRAMMY Worth? 7 Facts To Know About The GRAMMY Award Trophy

Here are seven facts to know about the actual cost and worth of a GRAMMY trophy, presented once a year by the Recording Academy at the GRAMMY Awards.

GRAMMYs/May 1, 2024 - 04:23 pm

Since 1959, the GRAMMY Award has been music’s most coveted honor. Each year at the annual GRAMMY Awards, GRAMMY-winning and -nominated artists are recognized for their musical excellence by their peers. Their lives are forever changed — so are their career trajectories. And when you have questions about the GRAMMYs, we have answers.

Here are seven facts to know about the value of the GRAMMY trophy.

How Much Does A GRAMMY Trophy Cost To Make?

The cost to produce a GRAMMY Award trophy, including labor and materials, is nearly $800. Bob Graves, who cast the original GRAMMY mold inside his garage in 1958, passed on his legacy to John Billings, his neighbor, in 1983. Billings, also known as "The GRAMMY Man," designed the current model in use, which debuted in 1991.

How Long Does It Take To Make A GRAMMY Trophy?

Billings and his crew work on making GRAMMY trophies throughout the year. Each GRAMMY is handmade, and each GRAMMY Award trophy takes 15 hours to produce. 

Where Are The GRAMMY Trophies Made?

While Los Angeles is the headquarters of the Recording Academy and the GRAMMYs, and regularly the home of the annual GRAMMY Awards, GRAMMY trophies are produced at Billings Artworks in Ridgway, Colorado, about 800 miles away from L.A.

Is The GRAMMY Award Made Of Real Gold?

GRAMMY Awards are made of a trademarked alloy called "Grammium" — a secret zinc alloy — and are plated with 24-karat gold.

How Many GRAMMY Trophies Are Made Per Year?

Approximately 600-800 GRAMMY Award trophies are produced per year. This includes both GRAMMY Awards and Latin GRAMMY Awards for the two Academies; the number of GRAMMYs manufactured each year always depends on the number of winners and Categories we award across both award shows.

Fun fact: The two GRAMMY trophies have different-colored bases. The GRAMMY Award has a black base, while the Latin GRAMMY Award has a burgundy base.

Photos: Gabriel Bouys/AFP via Getty Images; Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

How Much Does A GRAMMY Weigh?

The GRAMMY trophy weighs approximately 5 pounds. The trophy's height is 9-and-a-half inches. The trophy's width is nearly 6 inches by 6 inches.

What Is The True Value Of A GRAMMY?

Winning a GRAMMY, and even just being nominated for a GRAMMY, has an immeasurable positive impact on the nominated and winning artists. It opens up new career avenues, builds global awareness of artists, and ultimately solidifies a creator’s place in history. Since the GRAMMY Award is the only peer-voted award in music, this means artists are recognized, awarded and celebrated by those in their fields and industries, ultimately making the value of a GRAMMY truly priceless and immeasurable.

In an interview featured in the 2024 GRAMMYs program book, two-time GRAMMY winner Lauren Daigle spoke of the value and impact of a GRAMMY Award. "Time has passed since I got my [first] GRAMMYs, but the rooms that I am now able to sit in, with some of the most incredible writers, producers and performers on the planet, is truly the greatest gift of all." 

"Once you have that credential, it's a different certification. It definitely holds weight," two-time GRAMMY winner Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter of the Roots added. "It's a huge stamp as far as branding, businesswise, achievement-wise and in every regard. What the GRAMMY means to people, fans and artists is ever-evolving." 

As Billboard explains, artists will often see significant boosts in album sales and streaming numbers after winning a GRAMMY or performing on the GRAMMY stage. This is known as the "GRAMMY Effect," an industry phenomenon in which a GRAMMY accolade directly influences the music biz and the wider popular culture. 

For new artists in particular, the "GRAMMY Effect" has immensely helped rising creators reach new professional heights. Samara Joy, who won the GRAMMY for Best New Artist at the 2023 GRAMMYs, saw a 989% boost in sales and a 670% increase in on-demand streams for her album Linger Awhile, which won the GRAMMY for Best Jazz Vocal Album that same night. H.E.R., a former Best New Artist nominee, saw a massive 6,771% increase in song sales for her hit “I Can’t Breathe” on the day it won the GRAMMY for Song Of The Year at the 2021 GRAMMYs, compared to the day before, Rolling Stone reports

Throughout the decades, past Best New Artist winners have continued to dominate the music industry and charts since taking home the GRAMMY gold — and continue to do so to this day. Recently, Best New Artist winners dominated the music industry and charts in 2023: Billie Eilish (2020 winner) sold 2 million equivalent album units, Olivia Rodrigo (2022 winner) sold 2.1 million equivalent album units, and Adele (2009 winner) sold 1.3 million equivalent album units. Elsewhere, past Best New Artist winners have gone on to star in major Hollywood blockbusters (Dua Lipa); headline arena tours and sign major brand deals (Megan Thee Stallion); become LGBTIA+ icons (Sam Smith); and reach multiplatinum status (John Legend).

Most recently, several winners, nominees and performers at the 2024 GRAMMYs saw significant bumps in U.S. streams and sales: Tracy Chapman's classic, GRAMMY-winning single "Fast Car," which she performed alongside Luke Combs, returned to the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the first time since 1988, when the song was originally released, according to Billboard. Fellow icon Joni Mitchell saw her ‘60s classic “Both Sides, Now,” hit the top 10 on the Digital Song Sales chart, Billboard reports.

In addition to financial gains, artists also experience significant professional wins as a result of their GRAMMY accolades. For instance, after she won the GRAMMY for Best Reggae Album for Rapture at the 2020 GRAMMYs, Koffee signed a U.S. record deal; after his first GRAMMYs in 2014, Kendrick Lamar saw a 349% increase in his Instagram following, Billboard reports. 

Visit our interactive GRAMMY Awards Journey page to learn more about the GRAMMY Awards and the voting process behind the annual ceremony.

2024 GRAMMYs: See The Full Winners & Nominees List

2001 Latin GRAMMY winners pose at the Conga Room
2001 Latin GRAMMY winners pose at the Conga Room.

Photo: Courtesy of the Conga Room

news

L.A.’s Historic Conga Room Closes With A Final Party Celebrating Latin Music Excellence

The L.A. Live venue will officially close its doors at the end of March, after two decades of supporting live Latin music (and the Latin GRAMMYs). Ahead of their farewell party, the Conga Room's founder and staff discuss its history and significance.

GRAMMYs/Mar 26, 2024 - 01:24 pm

Los Angeles' legendary Conga Room is closing its doors, but will not go quietly into the night.

The 25-year-old venue has been home to countless Latin music performances and celebrations — including the 2001 Latin GRAMMYs — and will host its final event on March 27. The official, invitation-only closing celebration will feature a performance by Puerto Rican salsa star Gilberto Santa Rosa and the Conga Kids, as well appearances from Jimmy Smits and Paul Rodriguez, both of whom were investors in the space. 

First opened in 1999 on Wilshire Boulevard by real estate entrepreneur and Latin music lover Brad Gluckstein, the Conga Room drew investors like Jennifer Lopez and Sheila E — all of whom were committed to the venue’s vision of being an upscale nightclub devoted to live Latin music and dancing. In both its Miracle Mile location and its later space at L.A. Live, the club attracted an absolutely staggering lineup of talent, including Celia Cruz, Buena Vista Social Club, Tito Puente, Carlos Santana, Alejandro Fernández, Fito Paez, Jerry Rivera, Bad Bunny, and Maluma. The venue also hosted performances from non-Latinx artists like Prince, Ed Sheeran, Lenny Kravitz, Kendrick Lamar, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, and Avicii.

"I saw Prince perform in venues the world over, but his very first performance at the Conga Room was magical," says talk show host Tavis Smiley. "Of all the times I witnessed my friend on stage, from Madison Square Garden to Montreux, the Conga Room remains my favorite Prince performance."

Gluckstein says that the Conga Room was able to draw such great talent not just because it was one of the only major venues that leaned into Latin music in the United States, but because there was a mutual respect between the artists and the venue. 

"We couldn’t compete financially with [Goldenvoice or AEG], but we were able to bring an incredible amount of talent to the venue," he tells GRAMMY.com. "I was talking to Jerry Rivera’s agent the other day and I said, ‘Jerry just played in front of 10,000 people in Venezuela. Help me understand why playing in front of 1,000 people at the Conga room was so important.’ He went on for 10 minutes about what the room meant to these artists and the way we respected them, the sound system, and the way they were treated. The fan engagement, too, plus the fact that there was never really a comparable room anywhere else, even in New York."

"We provided a stage and a voice for acts that didn’t have a way of getting to their audience here in L.A., because no radio stations were playing their kind of music," says Marcella Cuonzo, the venue’s publicist. "For reggaeton, for example, the Conga Room was a pioneer in the movement around 2010. Radio wasn’t playing that music, but the Conga Room took a gamble on the sound because they saw its vision." 

The Conga Room was also the first venue in Los Angeles to host a wide-range of Cuban musical talent starting in the mid- to late ‘90s. "We had probably 50 shows," says Gluckstein. "We got everything from Bebo Valdés to [Diego] El Cigala to Pablo Milanés, who played his first show ever in the U.S. at our venue. He’s the Bob Dylan of Cuba. We brought Los Van Van, who’s probably the most famous salsa or timba group in the history of Cuba. They couldn’t play in Miami, because Miami wouldn’t allow Cuban music, so the GRAMMYs gave them their trophy [for Best Salsa Performance] at the Conga Room."  

The Latin GRAMMY Awards moved from L.A. from Miami in 2001, and the ceremony was set to take place at the Shrine Auditorium on Sept. 11. That telecast was understandably canceled following the tragic events of that day in New York, and rather than rescheduling the whole event, winners were announced at a press conference on Oct. 30 at the Conga Room. Alejandro Sanz came away with four awards, including Album Of The Year, and Juanes took home three Latin GRAMMYs, including Best New Artist.

"I remember Celia Cruz giving a beautiful speech that night in Spanish, thanking the firefighters and policemen and saying ‘this is for you, but also a little bit for us," says Gluckstein. "In later years, once we were at L.A. Live, we hosted the Latin GRAMMY nominations several times. I have footage of Andy Garcia doing them on-stage with Jimmy Smits." 

The Conga Room is closing now because, Gluckstein says, it just seems like the right time. "The pandemic, of course, played a role," he explains. "And I think the enormity of AEG and Live Nation, with how fierce the competition is, all of that has made buying talent much more expensive and has made talent more selective in terms of what's the best economic opportunity for them." 

There’s also the rising success of Conga Kids, the venue’s non-profit arm, to consider. A county-wide organization with about 100 employees, Conga Kids reaches roughly 50,000 elementary-aged kids in largely under-resourced communities every year, using dance and music from the Afro-Diaspora like salsa, merengue, cumbia, reggaeton, Charleston, and hip-hop to promote social and emotional well-being, as well as diversity, equity, and inclusivity. 

Though fans and artists will undoubtedly miss the space, energy, and community the Conga Room provided, Gluckstein says the venue’s closure doesn’t have to be sad. Instead, he says, it can be celebratory. 

"We accomplished so much," he says. "Now, the venue will just have to live on in the hearts and minds of people, instead of as a brick and mortar space." 

GRAMMY Hall Of Fame 2024 Inductees Announced: Recordings By Lauryn Hill, Guns N' Roses, Donna Summer, De La Soul & More

Ovy on the Drums poses at the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs
Ovy on the Drums poses at the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs

Photo: Patricia J. Garcinuno/WireImage/GettyImages

interview

Producer Ovy On The Drums Talks New EP With Myke Towers & The Indescribable Chemistry Of Working With Karol G

"I just wanted to make some good music with a well chosen set of guest artists, and let the beats speak for themselves," Ovy on the Drums says of his new EP with Myke Towers.

GRAMMYs/Mar 15, 2024 - 05:23 pm

When Mañana Será Bonito, the fourth studio album by Karol G, came out in February 2023, its release had been preceded by two momentous hit singles that changed the face of Latin music. 

Panoramic in scope, slick and airy, but also imbued with an intense and lyrical emotional depth, the songs "Provenza" and "Cairo" combined pop, reggaetón and an alternative edge with panache, and confirmed the Colombian singer/songwriter as one of the biggest pop stars in the planet. Mañana Será Bonito would go on to win Latin GRAMMYs for Album Of The Year and Best Urban Music Album, as well as her first-ever GRAMMY for Best Música Urbana Album in 2024.

Karol G wasn’t alone in these accomplishments. Most of the songs on the album were helmed by her longtime producer, Ovy on the Drums. Like Karol herself, 33 year-old Daniel Echavarría Oviedo hails from Medellín. The pair started working together at the very beginning of their careers, and Ovy was behind the haute couture sonics of "Tusa," the 2019 collaboration with Nicki Minaj that first established Karol as a major contender in Latin pop.

"There is a chemistry when we work together that I cannot quite describe with words,"  Ovy says over Zoom from his home in Florida. It’s a weekday morning, and he sits by his keyboard producing station; from time to time, he will play imaginary chords as he searches for the right words for an answer. His attitude remains humble throughout the conversation — even after significant success and a triumphant world tour, where he accompanied Karol on most concert dates.

"I still remember the specific moment when I asked her if she would let me do production work with her," he tells GRAMMY.com. "We keep talking whenever we’re in the studio. She is very clear in her direction; ‘I want this song to sound like that,’ or, ‘Give it another spin and see if we can make it better.’"

Ovy has since been inspired to branch out into different challenges. The latest one is Cassette 01,  a six-song EP with Puerto Rican A-list rapper Myke Towers. The EP is the first in a series of cassette-themed mixtapes that will include a different collaborator on each new installment. "The concept of releasing cassette-themed EPs in the year 2024 is really exciting to me," Ovy says. "It’s linked to the history of pop music, and the way we consume songs."

Known for high-voltage, sexed-up urbano anthems like "La Playa" (2020) and "LALA" (2023), Towers adds his imprint to the songs, but Ovy’s futuristic aesthetic is all over the EP. "It’s true that the loop in the beginning has my personal touch," Ovy says with a laugh when I point out that the intro to "AMOR NARCÓTICO" is trademark Ovy. "Sometimes people tell me that a song has that unique touch of mine, and it really seems unbelievable to me when I hear it."

On "BELLAQUERÍA," he mixes synth patches with real riffs performed by his longtime guitar player; the contrast between organic and digitized is prevalent in his stylistic panoply. And his trademark battle call — the almost dub-like cry of "O-O-O-vy on the Drumsss" is the seal of distinction that pops up in every single production.

Ovy On The Drums

Ovy on the Drums and Myke Towers┃SEBA

Musically speaking, Colombia sits on a highly strategic place: next door to the fertile Caribbean islands where reggae, salsa, merengue and calypso originated — but also close enough to the airwaves of mainstream American pop. Growing up, Ovy listened to a bit of everything, and gravitated naturally to lush records with majestic grooves.

"I loved Bob Marley as a kid," he says. "At home, of course, they would play a lot of salsa at parties, and hits of the time like 'Mayonesa' [a tropi-pop smash by Uruguayan band Chocolate.] I was also crazy about Modern Talking’s ‘Brother Louie’ and the Pet Shop Boys’ ‘Go West.’ Those are the songs that defined my childhood."

In the meantime, he continues employing FL Studio — the same producing software that he used at the very beginning of his journey.

"I’ll never stop using it," he promises. "I just can’t see myself on another platform. I used to dream about meeting the software creators, and now they follow me on Instagram and gave me every available plug-in. I’ve been producing music for the past 11 years, and I think I only know a good half of everything there is to learn on FL."

Collaborating with other high-profile artists and finishing up a promised solo album are high on Ovy's priority list.

"At the beginning, I was trying to turn my solo project into a conceptual work — but that’s easier said than done," he admits. "In the end, I realized that I just wanted to make some good music with a well chosen set of guest artists, and let the beats speak for themselves. I’d say my solo album is about 50 percent done at this point."

Karol G recently released "CONTIGO," a Euro-leaning, pop-EDM single with Tiësto. It remains to be seen if the diva will rely as tightly on her usual partner in crime as she begins work on her upcoming fifth album.

"When she had some free time off touring, I happened to be busy with the CASSETTE project," Ovy says. "Since then, we connected again and have been recording a bunch of songs. But I can’t really tell what will happen on the next album. And I think it’s good that Karol is collaborating with other producers and composers, searching for different avenues and sounds. We’re definitely on the same page in allowing things to happen the way they are supposed to."

He pauses for a moment, then adds with an extra wave of enthusiasm:

"I will always be there for her. Our common objective hasn’t really changed. We must always work hard, and come up with cool new songs." 

Mañana Y Siempre: How Karol G Has Made The World Mas Bonito

Billy Joel Freddy Wexler
Photo: Lester Cohen/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

(L-R) Billy Joel, Freddy Wexler

interview

Freddy Wexler On Helping Billy Joel "Turn The Lights Back On" — At The 2024 GRAMMYs And Beyond

"Part of what was so beautiful for me to see on GRAMMY night was the respect and adoration that people of all ages and from all genres have for Billy Joel," Wexler says of Joel's 2024 GRAMMYs performance of their co-written "Turn The Lights Back On."

GRAMMYs/Feb 26, 2024 - 09:11 pm

They say to not meet your heroes. But when Freddy Wexler — a lifelong Billy Joel fan — did just that, it was as if Joel walked straight out of his record collection.

"I think the truth is none of it is that surprising," the 37-year-old songwriter and producer tells GRAMMY.com. "That's the best part. From his music, I would've thought this is a humble, brilliant everyman who probably walks around with a very grounded perspective, and that's exactly who he is."

That groundedness made possible "Turn the Lights Back On" — the hit comeback single they co-wrote, and Wexler co-produced; Joel performed a resplendent version at the 2024 GRAMMYs with Laufey. Joel hadn't released a pop album since 1993's River of Dreams; for him to return to the throne would take an awfully demonstrative song, true to his life.

"I think it's a very raw, honest, real perspective that is true to Billy," Wexler explains. "I think it's the first time we've heard him acknowledge mistakes and regret in quite this way."

Specifically, Joel's return highlights his regret over spending three decades mostly on the bench, largely absent from the pop scene. As Joel wonders aloud in the stirring, arpeggiated chorus, "Is there still time for forgiveness?"

"Forgiveness" is a curious word. Why would the five-time GRAMMY winner and 23-time nominee possibly need to seek forgiveness? Regardless — as the song goes — he's "tryin' to find the magic/ That we lost somehow." The song's message — an attempt to recapture a lost essence — transcends Joel's personal headspace, connecting with a universal longing and nostalgia.

Read on for an interview with Wexler about the impact of "Turn the Lights Back On," why he thinks Joel took such an extended sabbatical, the prospect of more new music, and much more.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

**You did a great interview with Rolling Stone ahead of the 2024 GRAMMYs. Now, we're on the other side of it; you got to see how it went down on the telecast, and resonated with the audience and world. What was that like?**

It's why I make music — to hopefully make people feel something. This song has really resonated in such a big way. More than looking at its commercial success on the charts or on radio, which has been awesome to see, the comments on Instagram and YouTube have been the most rewarding part of it.

Why do you think it resonated? Beyond the king picking up his crown again?

I don't think the song is trying to be anything it's not. I think it's a very raw, honest, real perspective that is true to Billy. I think it's the first time we've heard him acknowledge mistakes and regret in quite this way. And to hear him do it in a hopeful way where he's asking, "Is it too late for forgiveness?" is just very moving, I think.

Forgiveness? That's interesting. What would any of us need to forgive him?

He has said in other interviews, "Sometimes people say they have no regrets at the end of their life." And he said, "I don't think that's possible. If you've lived a full life, of course you have regrets." He has said that he has many things he wishes he would've done differently. This is an opportunity to express that.

I think what's interesting about the song is it has found meaning in various ways with various people and listeners. Some people imagine Billy is singing to former lovers or friends. Other people imagine Billy is singing to his fans asking, "Did I wait too long to record again?" Other people wonder if Billy is singing to the songwriting Gods and muses. Did I wait too long to write again?

In Israel, where the song was number one — or is number one, I haven't checked today — I think the song's taken on the meaning of just wanting things to be normal, wanting hostages to come home and turn the lights back on. So, you never know where a song is going to resonate, but I think that Billy just found his own meaning with it.

You know the discography front to back. What lines can you draw from "Turn the Lights Back On" to past works?

I think it draws on various pieces of his catalog, right? "She's Always a Woman" has a sort of piano arpeggio in the chorus. To me, it feels like a natural progression. It feels like, on the one hand, it's a new song. On the other, it could have come out right after River of Dreams. To me, it just kind of feels natural.

**Back when you spoke with Rolling Stone, you said you couldn't wait to hear "Turn the Lights Back On" at Madison Square Garden. How'd it sound?**

Amazing. Billy is a consummate live performer. I think he's one of the few artists where everything is better live, and everything is always a little bit different each time it's played live.

It's been really cool to watch Billy and the band continue to change and improve the song and the song's dynamics for the show. He told me tonight that tomorrow night in Tampa, I think they're going to try to play with the key of the song, potentially — try it a half a step higher.

Those are the sort of things I think great artists do, right? It's different from being on a certain type of tour where every single song is the same, the set list is the same, the key is the same, the arrangements are the same.

With Billy, there's a lot of feeling and, "Hey, why don't we try it this way? Let's play it a little faster. Let's play it a little slower. Let's try it in a different key." I just think that's super cool. You have to be a really good musician to just do that on the fly.

What have you learned from him that applies to your music making, writ large?

I've learned so much from him. As Olivia Rodrigo said to us at GRAMMY rehearsals, "He's the blueprint when it comes to songwriting."

He has helped raise the bar for me when it comes to melodies and lyrics, but the thing I keep coming back to is he's reminded me that even the greatest artists and songwriters ever sometimes forget how great they are. I think we need to be careful not to give that inner voice and inner critic too much power.

Can you talk about how the music video came to be?

Well, I had a dream that Billy was singing the opening two lines of the song, but it was a 25-year-old version of Billy. It was arresting.

When I woke up, I sort of had the vision for the video, which was one set, an empty venue of some kind, and four Billy Joels. The Billy Joel that really exists today, but then three Billys from three iconic eras where each Billy would seamlessly pick up the song where the other left off.

The idea behind that was to sort of accentuate the question of the song — did I wait too long to turn the lights back on?

And so, to kind of take us through time and through all these years, I teamed up with an amazing co-director, Warren Fu, who's done everything from Dua Lipa to Daft Punk, and an artificial intelligence company called Deep Voodoo to make that vision possible.

What I'm driven by is the opportunity to create conversations, cultural moments, things that make people feel something. What was cool here is as scary as AI is — and I think it is scary in many ways — we were able to give an example of how you can use it in a positive way to execute a creative artistic vision that previously would've been impossible to execute.

Yeah, so I'm pleased with it and I'm thankful that Billy did a video. He didn't have to do one, but he liked the idea of it. He felt it was different, and I think he was moved by it as well.

What do you think is the next step here?

It's been a really rewarding process. And Billy is open-minded, which is really cool for an artist of that level, who's not a new artist by any stretch. To actually be described as being in a place in his life where he's open-minded, means anything is possible. I could tell you that I would love there to be more music.

I'd love to get your honest appraisal. And I know you're not him. But his last pop album was released 31 years ago. In that long interim, what do you think was going on with him, creatively?

Look, I'm not Billy Joel, but I think there were a number of factors going on with him. Somewhere along the way, I think he stopped having fun with music, which is the reason he got into it, or which is a big part of the reason he got into it. When it stopped being fun, I don't think he really wanted to do it anymore.

Another piece to it is that Billy is a perfectionist, and that perfectionism is evident in the caliber of his songwriting. Having always written 100 percent of his songs, Billy at some point probably found that process to be painstaking, to try to hit that bar where he's probably wondering in his head, What would Beethoven think of this? What would Leonard Bernstein think of this?

I think part of what was different here was that, perhaps, there was something liberating about "Turn the Lights Back On" being a seed that was brought to Billy. In this way, he could be a little disconnected from it, where maybe he didn't have to have the self-imposed pressure that he would if it was an idea that he'd been trying to finish for a while.

Ironically, he still made it. Well, there's no "ironically," but I think that's it. There's something to that.

Billy Joel's Biggest Songs: 15 Tracks That Best Showcase The Piano Man's Storytelling And Pop Hooks