Billy Joel has lavished praise on an autistic six-year-old piano player who's become an internet sensation with covers of classic tracks like the rocker's Piano Man.
Videos of Ethan Walmark, who was diagnosed with the developmental disorder at a young age, performing songs including The Beatles' Dear Prudence and Sir Paul MCCartney's Maybe I'm Amazed, were recently posted on YouTube.com by his parents - and the clips have become so popular, word has reached the Piano Man himself.
Giving the youngster his seal of approval, Joel says, "I think I like his intro to Piano Man better than mine. And this kid plays with a lot more energy than me. Maybe he could teach me a few things."
And the Grammy winner's encouraging comments have left Walmark's mum Allison and dad Michael stunned: "We are honoured and humbled that Mr. Joel watched Ethan’s video, and took the time to make such gracious comments about his piano playing. If Ethan’s love and joy of music can change one person’s mind about autism, we are happy."