Endangered Elephants Of Africa Have An Unlikely Hero: Billy Joel!

- in Life, News


Africa’s elephants have just gotten a powerful new supporter – music legend, Billy Joel.

When I was a kid, I was very worried about elephants going extinct.

But then I thought they were OK! Turns out, NO. I was wrong to not remain vigilant.

But turns out another relic of my childhood …

… has been on the case all along!

Mr. Pianoman loves to tickle the ivories, but he’s NOT COOL with murdering the ivories. The ivory in elephant tusks is the reason for a lot of elephant deaths.

Billy Joel has a stronger relationship with ivory and elephants than most folks because … pianos!


Pianos traditionally were made with ivory keys. And if there is one thing Billy Joel is an expert on, it’s gotta be pianos.

Joel’s voice is heard in a series of new ads supporting the Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) 96 Elephants campaign – so named for the number of elephants slaughtered each day by poachers.

With the backdrop of computer-animated elephants coming to life from shards of ivory, Joel’s voiceover warns: “We can’t turn back time, but we can reverse this trend. Don’t be the generation that allowed elephants to go extinct.”

The “Take a Stand for Elephants,” campaign was conceived and developed for 96 Elephants by pro bono partner, Steve Harper, founder of ThisisBonaFide.com. Harper is an independent creative director, designer, and animator based in New York. The campaign will appear across television, radio, print, digital, and OOH channels and media will be activated by Horizon Media, working on behalf of 96 Elephants. Additionally, Quinn will continue to serve as the public relations partner for the 96 Elephants effort.

Last year, Joel wrote a passionate, open letter published on his website: “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.”

Said John Calvelli, WCS Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Director of the 96 Elephants campaign: “Through his timeless music, Billy Joel has become a cultural icon and has spoken out for many important causes. Now, Billy Joel has taken a stand for elephants, and for that we are extremely grateful.”

Said Bill Koenigsberg, President, CEO, and founder of Horizon Media. “Since partnering with The Wildlife Conservation Society last year, 96 Elephants have seen incredible momentum to protect elephants by securing effective US moratorium laws, bolstering elephant protection with additional funding, and educating the public about the link between ivory consumption and the elephant poaching crisis. We have come a long way but more needs to be done and we are excited to have Billy Joel lend his star power to the 96 Elephants movement.”

96 Elephants brings together world citizens, partners, thought leaders, and change makers to leverage collective influence to stop the killing of elephants, stop the trafficking, and stop the demand for ivory. Working with campaign members, which includes 195 partners including 125 zoos across 45 states, 96 Elephants has helped banned ivory sales in New York and New Jersey and is currently supporting proposed bans in California – the largest ivory market after New York – and across the United States.




Billy Joel Lends Voice To Save Elephants

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