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Billy Joel urges New Yorkers to embrace Taylor Swift

Billy Joel has urged fellow New Yorkers to embrace Taylor Swift as the city's new tourism ambassador following a wave of criticism over her appointment.

Swift, who moved to the Big Apple earlier this year (14), was recently named the region's Global Welcome Ambassador in a bid to boost visitor numbers.


However, the move has been bemoaned by locals, media commentators and even actor Chris Noth, who insisted the singer represents the wealthy elite of Manhattan and highlights the gaping social divide in New York City.


Joel, who was born and raised in the city, has now stepped in to defend Swift, insisting grumpy New Yorkers need to lighten up.


He tells USA Today, "I see the New York press going, 'Taylor Swift is going to be the new New York representative?'... You snoots. Let her in. That's what New York is all about. I say, 'Welcome'... I think she's a talented songwriter. She catches a lot of junk, maybe because she's so popular with young girls. But I like what she's projecting. I respect what she's doing."