House of Cards star Kevin Spacey recently showed the world once more than he is not just a talented actor; during a recent PBS special honoring veteran musician Billy Joel, he belted out the classic hit Piano Man, and proceeded to knock it out of the park. The TV program in question will air on the network this coming Friday, January 2nd.
The concert special is entitled Billy Joel: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize, and features an array of stars coming out to help honor the 65-year-old in achieving what is probably the highest honor awarded to a musician in this day. Multiple tributes other than Spacey’s were made, by various A-list recording artists and entertainers alike. Veteran rocker John Mellencamp and legendary crooner Tony Bennett lead the tribute special, and pre-show reviews have already praised the special for being one of the only tribute shows in which the viewer can actually believe that all those involved are truly devoted to the cause and are extraordinarily close to the person they are paying tribute to, rather than it feeling forced and coerced as many tribute specials tend to. It is also said to not have any of the overproduced elements that many other star-studded tributes do, where it appears as though those involved were merely paid a substantial amount to show up and act as though they have any connection to the person being honored whatsoever.
Spacey was also not the only one to pull out all the stops in his cover and deliver an extremely stellar performance. R&B group Boyz II Men, best known for their emotional ballads and a capella performances, treated the audience to a moving a capella rendition of Joel’s 1984 smash hit For The Longest Time. Bennett sang New York State of Mind in a way only he could, putting a perfect amount of jazz spin on the classic while still keeping the original elements of the tune intact.
Spacey got the privilege of covering Joel’s first big hit, the one that sent him rocketing into stardom back in 1973. Although the track peaked at number 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 of that year, it was most certainly single-handedly responsible for launching the iconic singer’s career, which has earned him the title of sixth best-selling recording artists of all time. Joel was playing piano at the time of the performance in question. Spacey was joined by popular adult contemporary artist Josh Groban, alternative singer Gavin DeGraw, and lead singer of Dixie Chicks Natalie Maines.
This is not the first time that Spacey has showed off his impressive vocal skills. In the 2004 biopic Beyond The Sea (which he himself directed), the 55-year-old played the role of iconic singer/actor Bobby Darwin. He covered multiple classic tunes recorded by Darwin, something he was praised for by various movie reviewers despite the overwhelming negativity the film faced at the box officer overall following it’s release. The movie did not meet even half of its budget of 25 million, settling at a slightly abysmal figure of just over eight million dollars in revenue.
Kevin Spacey delivered an extremely impressive version of Billy Joel’s hit Piano Man, recorded for the upcoming PBS tribute. It can be viewed on the network on January 2nd, 2015.
By Rebecca Grace