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Billy Joel Sounds Off On Ivory Bill

LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 07: Singer/songwriter Billy Joel performs at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on June 7, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Billy Joel
likes to tickle the ivories -- he is, after all, the "Piano Man." But he doesn't want that ivory coming from illegal sources.

After New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo introduced a bill to restrict illegal sales of ivory and rhinoceros horns in New York, Joel joined the battle, posting a note on his official web site that states, "I wholeheartedly support the ivory sales 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 this can never be replaced. Music must never be used as an excuse to destroy and endangered species. Music should be a celebration of life -- not an instrument of death."

Cuomo is seeking to not only ban illegal ivory sales in New York state but also introduce tougher penalties against those who engage in the trade. Joel plays one of his monthly concerts at New York's Madison Square Garden on Saturday (June 21).