Billy Joel Says No to Ivory Piano Keys

Billy Joel on an ivory-free piano.
Billy Joel on an ivory-free piano. Photo credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images/Thinkstock

Sag Harbor’s Billy Joel posted a statement supporting the ivory sales ban bill on his website Tuesday:

To whom it may concern:
I wholeheartedly support the ivory sales ban bill pending in New York State.
I am a piano player. And I realize that ivory piano keys are preferred by some pianists.
But a preference for ivory keys does not justify the slaughter of 96 elephants every day.
There are other materials which can be substituted for piano keys.
But magnificent creatures like these can never be replaced.
Music must never be used as an excuse to destroy an endangered species.
Music should be a celebration of life—not an instrument of death.
Billy Joel

The ivory sales ban bill was announced on Tuesday by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. The bill prohibits transactions involving ivory and rhinoceros horn with very limited exceptions. Joel lending his voice to support this bill is likely due to Christie Brinkley’s public advocacy for elephants and opposition to the ivory trade.

Supermodel and actress Brinkley is a Bridgehampton resident and the ex-wife of Joel. During September of last year, Brinkley and her daughter Sailor Brinkley Cook toured Kenya and South Africa to fight against the poaching of elephants and rhinoceros.

In an interview on The View, Brinkley stated, “Don’t ever buy anything made out of ivory,” and now Joel has spoken up too.

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