Billy Joel respects Taylor Swift.

The 65-year-old singer doesn't understand why the 'Blank Space' hitmaker gets so much abuse from critics because he thinks she is ''talented.''

The 'Uptown Girl' hitmaker said: ''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.''

Billy, who has lived in Long Island, New York for many years, also blasted city residents for turning their noses when NYC & Company, the city's marketing and tourism organisation, made the 24-year-old singer a tourism ambassador late last month.

The 'New York State of Mind' hitmaker told USA Today newspaper: ''You snoots. Let her in. That's what New York is all about. I say, 'Welcome.' ''

Taylor bought and moved into a $19.9 million penthouse in Tribeca in the city last March after relocating from Nashville, Tennessee.

The 'Shake It Off' hitmaker previously gushed about her love for the city, saying: ''I'm still learning, but I'm so enthusiastic about this city that when I love something, I'm very vocal about it ... It's affected my life in ways I'm not even aware of fully.''