Stephen Colbert, Idina Menzel, Sara Bareilles and more sing Billy Joel’s New York State of Mind to bring the city together amid the pandemic
Stars such as Stephen Colbert, Idina Menzel, Sara Bareilles and Andy Cohen are championing New York City in a new video that aims to bring the city together amid the pandemic.
Put together by grassroots organization NYCNext, the clip encourages the city’s recovery from being shut down due to COIVD-19, as well as driving civic engagement.
Celebs are seen singing along to Billy Joel’s 1976 hit New York State of Mind, including the likes of Victoria Clark, LaChanze, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Kelli O’Hara and Peppermint.
Belting it out: Stephen Colbert, Idina Menzel, Sara Bareilles and more sing Billy Joel’s New York State of Mind to celebrate the city reopening, organized by NYCNext
Also featuring in the clip are performers Anaïs Reno, Mario Cantone, Jerry Dixon, Suzanne Vega, Tom Kitt and Billy’s daughter Alexa Ray Joel.
The volunteer group #NYCNext says it has the goal of helping ‘the city we love recover and rebuild, and to energize and inspire others to act by creating moments of joy.’
However, the reaction to the video on social media has been mixed – with some pointing out that it brings back painful memories of Gal Gadot’s Imagine video at the very start of the pandemic.
She’s got the pipes: Frozen star Idina Menzel sings the Billy Joel song among others
Inspiring: The clip encourages the city’s recovery from being shut down due to COIVD-19, as well as driving civic engagement
Cameo: Bravo personality Andy Cohen pops up in the clip to give the camera a kiss
Star: Miss Peppermint – the runner-up on the ninth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race – also makes an appearance
‘Because a song is all it takes,’ one user wrote, while another said: ‘Did they not learn anything from the imagine video lol.’
Maryam Banikarim, co-founder of NYCNext, said in a statement about the video: ‘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.’
‘This all-volunteer movement is a testament to the power of New Yorkers — creative, passionate do-ers who step in to help each other and their city when the going gets tough.’
Familiar face: Billy Joel’s daughter Alexa Ray Joel also stars in the video
Broadway stars: LaChanze, an award-winning actress, is known for appearing onstage in productions of The Color Purple and The Donna Summer Musical.
Up and coming: LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts student Anaïs Reno has won international competitions and made her Rose Hall debut in 2019 in at Lincoln Cente
Gal Gadot famously addressed the backlash to her Imagine video this year, saying she had ‘nothing but good intentions’ when she got a group of A-Listers to try and rally the public through the pandemic.
‘I had nothing but good intentions and it came from the best place, and I just wanted to send light and love to the world,’ Gal explained.
‘I started with a few friends, and then I spoke to Kristen [Wiig]. Kristen is like the mayor of Hollywood. Everyone loves her, and she brought a bunch of people to the game.’
She added: ‘But yeah, I started it, and I can only say that I meant to do something good and pure, and it didn’t transcend.’
Talents: Singer and Waitress performer Sara Bareilles shows off her vocals in the clip
Star-studded: Tony Award-winner Kelli O’Hara also brings the house down with her vocals
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