Billy Joel
Singer, songwriter, pianist
Billy Joel
William Martin "Billy" Joel is an American pianist, singer-songwriter, and composer. Since releasing his first hit song, "Piano Man", in 1973, Joel has become the sixth-best-selling recording artist and the third-best-selling solo artist in the United States, according to the RIAA. His compilation album Greatest Hits Vol. 1 & 2 is the third-best-selling album in the United States by discs shipped.
Billy Joel's personal information overview.
News abour Billy Joel from around the web
L.A. theater openings, Feb. 26-March 5: 'Paradise Lost: Reclaiming Destiny' and more
LATimes - 3 days
This week: A coming-of-age tale about a young Nigerian American woman, a Tony-winning musical comedy about murder most foul, and a physical-theater adaptation of a 17th century spiritual epic. The Piano Men: A Tribute to Sir Elton John and Billy Joel With tribute artists Jeffrey Allen and Matthew...
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LATimes article
Hot Houses: Billy Joel's Florida estate and America's most expensive house
Fox News - about 1 month
Check out the "Piano  Billy Joel’s Florida seaside stunner, Jane Fonda’s California mansion and a Bel-Air mega-million compound unlike anything we’ve ever seen.
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Fox News article
Reaction mixed to Kid Rock concerts at new arena - The Detroit News
Google News - about 1 month
The Detroit News Reaction mixed to Kid Rock concerts at new arena The Detroit News Kid Rock, right, stands with Ilitch Holdings President and CEO Chris Ilitch, center, Olympia Entertainment President and CEO Tom Wilson and others during the news conference Thursday inside Little Caesars Arena. (Photo: Todd McInturf / The Detroit ... Kid Rock Could Be The "Billy Joel At MSG" Of Little Caesars ArenaStereogum Kid Rock will be first performer at Little Caesars ArenaDetroit Free Press Kid Rock to open Little Caesars Arena with 4 shows in SeptemberCrain's Detroit Business -Pollstar all 26 news articles »
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Google News article
Drag Legend Sherry Vine Takes On Donald Trump In Powerful New Parody
Huffington Post - about 1 month
Sherry Vine is back with the latest offering in a long line of video parodies ― but this one is a bit different than you might expect. This particular parody is markedly more political than the beloved drag legend’s previous videos and takes on major events that have shaped the LGBTQ community over the decades  ― and the past year. Set to Billy Joel’s hit “We Didn’t Start The Fire,” Vine’s video highlights Russia’s alleged tampering with America’s 2016 presidential election, Trump’s anti-LGBTQ administration, the Pulse Nightclub massacre and much more. “This is a very different kind of parody for me,” Vine said in a press release sent to The Huffington Post. “While most of my parodies tend to be funny and naughty, there’s an element of anger and cynicism in this latest. It reflects how many of us in the LGBTQ community feel today. We don’t know what the future has in store for us. At any moment, the other shoe may drop and we’re scared. Very scared.” Check ...
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Huffington Post article
Management Expert Adam Grant on Billy Joel
Wall Street Journal - about 1 month
Management expert Adam Grant recalls how the historical lists in Billy Joel’s ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire’ gave the future author his first research project.
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Wall Street Journal article
Management Expert Adam Grant on Billy Joel
Wall Street Journal - about 2 months
Management expert Adam Grant recalls how the historical lists in Billy Joel’s ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire’ gave the future author his first research project.
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Wall Street Journal article
Billy Joel to play Dodger Stadium this spring
LATimes - about 2 months
The Piano Man is coming to Dodger Stadium.  Billy Joel will perform at the baseball park on May 13, Live Nation announced on Thursday — a first for him. Although Joel cut his teeth as a piano player and lounger singer at the Executive Room in L.A. during the ’70s (he performed as Bill Martin then)...
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LATimes article
Billy Joel cops to Bruce Springsteen's broken bike
CBS News - 3 months
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CBS News article
Billy Joel takes the blame for broken-down Springsteen bike
Yahoo News - 3 months
NEW YORK (AP) — A motorcycle that Bruce Springsteen was riding when a group of veterans found him broken down on the side of a New Jersey road was built by none other than Billy Joel.
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Yahoo News article
Eleven More Bass Players Who Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Huffington Post - 3 months
"You ask the average person what a bass is, or what a bass sounds like, and most of the time, they don't know. But remove the bass from any piece of music and suddenly it becomes the largest missing piece in the world! Whoa, fifty percent of the music just went away with one instrument! It is an instrument that is much more conspicuous by its absence than by its presence..." As told to this writer by Michael J. Visceglia, bassist, author, educator, recording artist The 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees were revealed a few weeks ago and I congratulate all the artists: Bad Brains, Chaka Khan, Chic, Depeche Mode, Electric Light Orchestra, J. Geils Band, Jane's Addiction, Janet Jackson, Joan Baez, Joe Tex, Journey, Kraftwerk, MC 5, Pearl Jam, Steppenwolf, The Cars, The Zombies, Tupac Shakur, and Yes. Some of the choices are obvious to me, some less so. A few leave me bewildered, but that's rock and roll...the mistakes make the music real. And I see that a few of the nomi ...
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Huffington Post article
Corinna Sowers-Adler Delivers "Something Beautiful" Just When We Need It Most
Huffington Post - 3 months
On November 5th, two-time Tony nominee for Excellence in Theater Education, Corinna Sowers-Adler debuted her show "Something Beautiful" in the Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center. The show, which incorporated both well-known and lesser known songs spanning genres from country to pop to Broadway, was crafted to uplift and remind and encourage us all to bring and to be "something beautiful" in this world. And it succeeded. Sprinkled with humor, and accompanied by Broadway musical veteran Lawrence Yurman on piano, Christian Fabian on bass, and Colleen Clark on drums, Sowers-Adler delivered a musical journey that took the audience from laughter to tears and back again seamlessly and seemingly effortlessly. Also joining Sowers-Adler on stage during parts of the show, were award-winning Broadway star T. Oliver Reid, dancer Lisa Grimes, and many of Sowers-Adler's New Jersey theater and voice students, who clearly displayed exactly why she has been a Tony nominee for education. The ...
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Huffington Post article
Frankfurt After The Fair
Huffington Post - 4 months
The Frankfurt Book Fair is over, but if you're looking for something to do before heading home, or want to think about making plans for next year, I have some suggestions. Zara Home. I live in New York, where every luxury and down market store is available--with the exception of Zara Home. I found one in Frankfurt in Rathenauplasse, the main pedestrian shopping area near the Old Opera, and only a short walk from the Book Fair convention center. My friends and I went in and coveted the faux fur blankets, cozy bedding, soft flannel PJs, and charming Christmas decorations. If you're a Zara fan, it's worth a special trip. Tiger Palace Cabaret. One night, we went to the Parisian style restaurant in the Tiger Palace's brick bunker-like basement, and then up to the ground floor theater for a variety show featuring quirky, funny and terrifying acts from all over the world. My faves: The Grynchenko Brothers acrobatics from Kiev (above), Domitil Aillot, a super sexy pole dancer (male) ...
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Huffington Post article
Most Long Island Politician Ever Attacks Opponent For Not Loving Billy Joel Enough
The Huffington Post - 5 months
Here are three things we know about Dean Hart: (1) He’s running for New York State Assembly in Long Island, (2) he really, really loves Billy Joel and (3) he thinks his opponent doesn’t love the music legend quite enough.  The Oyster Bay resident said in a press release Thursday that he would spend $1 million to build a marble statue of Joel outside the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Long Island to commemorate the piano man’s awesomeness. The coliseum is scheduled to re-open next April with a performance by Joel, who is a Long Island native.  More...
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The Huffington Post article
Fashion's Sophia Amoruso on Billy Joel's 'Vienna'
Wall Street Journal - 5 months
Fashion executive Sophia Amoruso on a Billy Joel song that helped her make sense out of a brief marriage’s end.
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Wall Street Journal article
Billy Joel-Loving Academics Get in a Piano Man State of Mind
NYTimes - 5 months
A Billy Joel symposium called “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” at Colorado College explored his music and lyrics and included a telephone Q. and A. with the star.
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NYTimes article
Out of the Clinton Global Initiative: a Network for Decisive Action to Protect Elephants
Huffington Post - 5 months
Reflecting on the completion of our Clinton Global Initiative commitment to save elephants, I realize how privileged I was in 2013 to participate in two seminal meetings in New York City that helped to frame the future direction of this global movement to make sure there is a future in the wild for these incredible creatures. It had been a year of mourning for elephants, being slaughtered at the rate of 35,000 a year (96 per day) to meet soaring demand for ivory globally. Earlier that spring, a team of researchers led by my WCS colleagues Samantha Strindberg and Fiona Maisels had published their finding that well over 60 percent of Africa's forest elephants had been killed since 2002. In September 2013, eleven African leaders came together at a meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative to declare that the world must stop selling ivory and close their domestic ivory markets. Credit: Julie Larsen Maher/WCS. In July of 2013, WCS worked with Secretary Clinton to call together ...
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Huffington Post article
Cuomo and Billy Joel Ride for Breast Cancer Awareness
NYTimes - 8 months
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed a bill into law that is supposed to make it easier for women to get screened for breast cancer.
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NYTimes article
The Weird and Wonderful Latest All-Inclusive Outreach of Yiddish Soul
Huffington Post - 8 months
I arrived at Yiddish Soul, the free Concert at Summerstage in Central Park - presented by the 101-year-old National Yiddish Theatre/Folksbiene as the opening event of its Second Annual KulturfestNYC, expecting the same old, same old - over-vibratoed vocal chords singing "My Yiddish Mama" and "By Mir Bist Du Shain" to the de rigueur grey-haired seniors who display more nostalgia for their Jewish upbringing now than they felt when they were living through it. Boy, was I in for a surprise! Yiddish Soul was an inclusive, international leap of faith, a mix of old and new designed to attract everyone and anyone from the religiously affiliated to the ethnically non-religious and hopefully their non-Jewish partners, particularly young families with children who seemed pleased enough with their Yiddishkeit - Jewish heritage - to dance in circles in the aisles. WFMU's Nachum Segal hosted, welcomed one and all and reminded anyone who could eat a little something that Mendy's Booth was sel ...
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Huffington Post article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Billy Joel
  • 2015
    On August 4, 2015 Joel played the final concert at Nassau Coliseum before the arena underwent a $261 million renovation.
    More Details Hide Details In 1988, Joel ventured into acting, starring in the Disney movie Oliver and Company, as the voice of Dodger, a streetwise Jack Russell Terrier. In 1996, Joel merged his long-held love of boating with his desire for a second career. He formed, with Long Island boating businessman Peter Needham, the Long Island Boat Company. In November 2010, Joel opened a shop in Oyster Bay, Long Island, to manufacture custom-made, retro-styled motorcycles and accessories.
    On August 12, 2015, the couple's daughter, Della Rose Joel, was born.
    More Details Hide Details Joel battled depression for many years. In 1970, a career downturn and personal problems aggravated his condition. He left a suicide note (which inspired the lyrics to "Tomorrow Is Today") and attempted to commit suicide by drinking furniture polish, saying later, "I drank furniture polish. It looked tastier than bleach." His drummer and bandmate, Jon Small, rushed him to the hospital. Joel checked into Meadowbrook Hospital, where he was put on suicide watch and received treatment for depression. Joel later recorded "You're Only Human (Second Wind)" as a message to help prevent teen suicide. In 2002, Joel entered Silver Hill Hospital, a substance abuse and psychiatric center in New Canaan, Connecticut. In March 2005, he checked into the Betty Ford Center, where he spent 30 days for the treatment of alcohol-related problems.
    On July 4, 2015, Joel married his fourth wife, Alexis Roderick (aged 33 at the time), an equestrian and former Morgan Stanley executive, at his estate on Long Island with the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, presiding over the ceremony.
    More Details Hide Details The couple had been together since 2009.
    In 2015, Joel performed 21 concerts (in addition to his Madison Square Garden residency) from January 7 to August 2 in various cities around the U.S. and Canada.
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  • 2014
    He received the prize at a performance ceremony in November 2014 from James H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress, and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
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    On July 22, 2014, the Library of Congress announced that Joel would be the sixth recipient of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.
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    Joel's mother, Rosalind Nyman Joel, died on July 13, 2014, at the age of 92.
    More Details Hide Details She was the inspiration for "Rosalinda's Eyes" from his 52nd Street album.
    In January 2014, Joel appeared as himself in Adam Scott's Adult Swim series: The Greatest Event in Television History, singing his song "My Life" for a recreation of the opening theme to Bosom Buddies.
    More Details Hide Details Joel's first wife was Elizabeth Weber Small. When their relationship began, she was married to Jon Small, his music partner in the short-lived duo Attila, with whom she had a son. When the infidelity was exposed, Weber (temporarily) severed her relationships with both of them. Distraught, Joel overdosed on Nembutal while at his mother's house on Long Island, and called Small to apologize. Small then went to the house and, finding Joel unconscious, got him medical attention.
    In 2014, Schruers did release a Billy Joel biography, simply titled Billy Joel, based on extensive personal interviews with Joel.
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    Joel kicked off the 2014 New Year in the Amway Center and performed several cover songs such as Elton John's "Your Song", Billy Preston's "You Are So Beautiful" (in tribute to Joe Cocker), The Beatles "With a Little Help from My Friends", "Can't Buy Me Love", and "When I'm 64", Robert Burns' "Auld Lang Syne", and AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long" (with Brian Johnson).
    More Details Hide Details Rufus Wainwright joined Joel during the concert to sing "New York State of Mind". Joel also performed an unusual set, including the song "Souvenir" (from 1974's Streetlife Serenade) and excluding "We Didn't Start the Fire".
    On January 7, 2014, the Billy Joel in Concert tour began.
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  • 2013
    In 2013 Joel described being in depression since the 9/11 attacks.
    More Details Hide Details He cited Yousafzayi Malala as his inspiration for restoring his faith in humanity.
    On December 3, 2013, it was announced that Joel would become a franchise of Madison Square Garden, playing one concert a month indefinitely, starting with a date on January 27, 2014.
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    In May 2013, it was announced that Joel would hold his first ever indoor Irish concert at the O2 in Dublin on November 1.
    More Details Hide Details He subsequently announced his return to the UK for the first time in seven years to perform three dates in October and November. Joel played two arena dates in Manchester and Birmingham plus a very special show at London's Hammersmith Apollo. In October, Joel held a surprise concert on Long Island at The Paramount (Huntington, New York) to benefit Long Island Cares. The venue holds a capacity of 1,555 and sold out in five minutes. Joel headlined a solo arena concert in New York City for the first time since 2006 when he performed at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on December 31, 2013.
  • 2012
    On December 12, 2012, Joel performed as part of 12-12-12: The Concert for Sandy Relief at Madison Square Garden, a concert held for all the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
    More Details Hide Details He changed the lyrics to "Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)" to make it relate to all the damage caused by Sandy.
    In 2012, Joel signed an exclusive worldwide publishing agreement with Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG), and its subsidiary Rondor Music International.
    More Details Hide Details Under the agreement, UMPG and Rondor replaced EMI Music Publishing in handling Joel's catalog outside the U.S. Additionally, the agreement marked the first time since Joel regained control of his publishing rights in the 1980s that he began to use an administrator to handle his catalog within the U.S. The agreement's focus is on increasing the use of Joel's music in movies, television programs, and commercials.
  • 2011
    2011 marked the 40th anniversary of the release of Joel's first album, Cold Spring Harbor.
    More Details Hide Details According to Joel's official website, to commemorate this anniversary, Columbia/Legacy Recordings originally planned "to celebrate the occasion with a definitive reissue project of newly restored and expanded Legacy editions of the complete Billy Joel catalog, newly curated collections of rarities from the vaults, previously unavailable studio tracks and live performances, home video releases and more", although this never fully came to fruition. The album Piano Man was re-released in a two-disc Legacy edition in November 2011.
  • 2010
    In April 2010, it was announced that Joel and DeVitto amicably resolved the lawsuit.
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  • 2009
    On May 19, 2009, Joel's former drummer, Liberty DeVitto, filed a lawsuit in NYC claiming Joel and Sony Music owed DeVitto over 10 years of royalty payments.
    More Details Hide Details DeVitto had never been given songwriting or arranging credit on any of Joel's songs, but he claimed that he helped arrange some of them, including "Only the Good Die Young".
  • 2008
    Although Joel has donated money to Democratic candidates running for office, he has never publicly affiliated himself with the Democratic Party. Although he is not known for publicly endorsing political candidates, he did play a benefit with Bruce Springsteen to raise money for Barack Obama's presidential campaign in 2008.
    More Details Hide Details He has also played at benefit concerts that have helped raise funds for political causes. However, in regards to musicians endorsing political candidates, Joel has said, "People who pay for your tickets, I don't think they want to hear who you're going to vote for and how you think they should vote." Joel is a secular Jew and an atheist. In 2001, he stated: Joel bought a house in Centre Island, New York in 2002 for $22 million. He also owns a house in Sag Harbor. Joel graduated well after his high school peers because of a missed English exam. His high school diploma was finally awarded by the school board 25 years later. Joel has been presented with multiple honorary doctorates: In 1986, Joel was on the site selection committee for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame board. Seven members of the committee voted for the Hall to be located in San Francisco, and seven voted for Cleveland, Ohio; this tie was broken when Joel voted for Cleveland. Joel was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland in 1999 by one of his chief musical influences, Ray Charles.
    Joel sang the song throughout his December 2008 tour of Australia.
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    On December 11, 2008, Joel recorded his own rendition of "Christmas in Fallujah" during a concert at Acer Arena in Sydney and released it as a live single in Australia only.
    More Details Hide Details It is the only official release of Joel performing "Christmas in Fallujah", as Cass Dillon sang on the 2007 studio recording and the handful of times the song was played live in 2007.
    On July 16, 2008, and July 18, 2008, Joel played the final concerts at Shea Stadium before its demolition.
    More Details Hide Details His guests included Tony Bennett, Don Henley, John Mayer, John Mellencamp, Steven Tyler, Roger Daltrey, Garth Brooks, and Paul McCartney. The concerts were featured in the 2010 documentary film Last Play at Shea. The film was released on DVD on February 8, 2011. The CD and DVD of the show, Live at Shea Stadium were released on March 8, 2011.
    On June 19, 2008, he played a concert at the grand re-opening of Caesars Windsor (formerly Casino Windsor) in Windsor, Ontario, Canada to an invite-only crowd for Casino VIPs.
    More Details Hide Details His mood was light, and joke-filled, even introducing himself as "Billy Joel's dad" and stating "you guys overpaid to see a fat bald guy". He also admitted that Canadian folk-pop musician Gordon Lightfoot was the musical inspiration for "She's Always A Woman".
    Joel's staying power as a touring act continues to the present day. He sold out 10 concerts at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut from May to July 2008.
    More Details Hide Details The casino honored him with a banner displaying his name and the number 10 to hang in the arena.
    On March 10, 2008, Joel inducted his friend John Mellencamp into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in a ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.
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    On January 26, 2008, Joel performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra celebrating the 151st anniversary of the Academy of Music.
    More Details Hide Details Joel premiered his new classical piece titled, "Waltz No. 2 (Steinway Hall)" arranged by Brad Ellis. He also played many of his less well-known pieces, with full orchestral backing arranged by Mr. Ellis, including the rarely performed Nylon Curtain songs "Scandinavian Skies" and "Where's the Orchestra?".
  • 2007
    Joel wrote it in September 2007 after reading numerous letters sent to him from American soldiers in Iraq. "Christmas in Fallujah" is only the second pop/rock song released by Joel since 1993's River of Dreams.
    More Details Hide Details Proceeds from the song benefited the Homes For Our Troops foundation.
    On December 1, 2007, Joel premiered his new song "Christmas in Fallujah".
    More Details Hide Details The song was performed by Cass Dillon, a new Long Island based musician, as Joel felt it should be sung by someone in a soldier's age range (though he himself has played the song occasionally in concert.) The track was dedicated to servicemen based in Iraq.
    On February 4, Joel sang the national anthem for Super Bowl XLI, becoming the first to sing the national anthem twice at a Super Bowl. and on April 17, 2007, Joel was honored in Albany, New York, for his ninth concert at the Times Union Center.
    More Details Hide Details He is now holding the highest box office attendance of any artist to play at the arena. A banner was raised in his honor marking this achievement.
    The song, titled "All My Life", was Joel's newest single (with second track "You're My Home", live from Madison Square Garden 2006 tour) and was released into stores on February 27, 2007.
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  • 2006
    Joel toured South Africa, Australia, Japan, and Hawaii in late 2006, and subsequently toured the Southeastern U.S. in February and March 2007 before hitting the Midwest in the spring of 2007.
    More Details Hide Details On January 3 of that year, news was leaked to the New York Post that Billy had recorded a new song with lyrics—this being the first new song with lyrics he'd written in almost 14 years.
    On July 31, 2006, he performed a free concert in Rome, with the Colosseum as the backdrop.
    More Details Hide Details Organizers estimated 500,000 people turned out for the concert, which was opened by Bryan Adams.
    Joel visited the United Kingdom and Ireland for the first time in many years as part of the European leg of his 2006 tour.
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    On January 7, 2006, Joel began a tour across the U.S. Having not written, or at least released, any new songs in 13 years, he featured a sampling of songs from throughout his career, including major hits as well as obscure tunes like "Zanzibar" and "All for Leyna".
    More Details Hide Details His tour included an unprecedented 12 sold-out concerts over several months at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The singer's stint of 12 shows at Madison Square Garden broke a previous record set by New Jersey native Bruce Springsteen, who played 10 sold-out shows at the same arena. The record earned Joel the first retired number (12) in the arena owned by a non-athlete. This honor has also been given to Joel at the Wells Fargo Center (Philadelphia) (formerly the Wachovia Center) in Philadelphia where a banner in the colors of the Philadelphia Flyers is hung honoring Joel's 46 Philadelphia sold-out shows. He also had a banner raised in his honor for being the highest grossing act in the history of the Times Union Center (formerly the Knickerbocker Arena and Pepsi Arena) in Albany, New York. This honor was given to him as part of the April 17, 2007, show he did there. On June 13, 2006, Columbia released 12 Gardens Live, a double album containing 32 live recordings from a collection of the 12 different shows at Madison Square Garden during Joel's 2006 tour.
  • 2004
    On October 2, 2004, Joel married his third wife Katie Lee, aged 23 at the time.
    More Details Hide Details At the time of the wedding, Joel was 55. Joel's daughter, Alexa Ray, then 18, served as maid-of-honor. Joel's second wife, Christie Brinkley, attended the union and gave the couple her blessing. Lee works as a restaurant correspondent for the PBS show, George Hirsch: Living it Up! In 2006, Katie Lee hosted Bravo's Top Chef. She did not return for a second season, instead going on tour with her husband. She then began writing a weekly column in Hamptons magazine, and became a field correspondent for the entertainment television show Extra. On June 17, 2009, they announced their separation.
  • 2003
    In 2003, Joel inducted The Righteous Brothers into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, noting that his song "Until the Night" from the album 52nd Street was a tribute to the duo.
    More Details Hide Details In 2005, Columbia released a box set, My Lives, which is largely a compilation of demos, b-sides, live/alternate versions and even a few Top 40 hits. The compilation also includes the Umixit software, in which people can remix "Zanzibar" and a live version of "I Go to Extremes" with their PC. Also, a DVD of a show from the River of Dreams tour is included.
  • 2002
    Joel was also named MusiCares Person of the Year for 2002, an award given each year at the same time as the Grammy Awards.
    More Details Hide Details At the dinner honoring him, various artists performed versions of his songs, including Nelly Furtado, Stevie Wonder, Jon Bon Jovi, Diana Krall, Rob Thomas and Natalie Cole. Joel has won five non-honorary Grammys, including Album of the Year for 52nd Street and Song of the Year and Record of the Year for "Just the Way You Are". On September 20, 2004, Joel received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, for his work in the music industry, located at 6233 Hollywood Boulevard. He was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame on October 15, 2006. Joel is the only performing artist to have played both Yankee and Shea Stadiums, as well as Giants Stadium, Madison Square Garden, and Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Joel has banners in the rafters of the Times Union Center, Nassau Coliseum, Madison Square Garden, Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Hartford Civic Center in Hartford, and the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. (Joel is erroneously cited as the first artist to perform a concert at Yankee Stadium in New York City; The Isley Brothers first performed there in 1969, and the Latin supergroup The Fania All-Stars played and recorded live albums at the stadium during the 1970s.)
  • 2001
    Joel performed "New York State of Mind" live on September 21, 2001, as part of the America: A Tribute to Heroes benefit concert, and on October 20, 2001, along with "Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)", at the Concert for New York City in Madison Square Garden.
    More Details Hide Details That night, he also performed "Your Song" with Elton John.
    In 2001, Joel released Fantasies & Delusions, a collection of classical piano pieces.
    More Details Hide Details All were composed by Joel and performed by Richard Joo. Joel often uses bits of these songs as interludes in live performances, and some of them are part of the score for the hit show Movin' Out. The album topped the classical charts at No. 1.
  • 1999
    On December 31, 1999, Joel performed at New York's Madison Square Garden.
    More Details Hide Details At the time, Joel said that it would be his last tour and possibly his last concert. Two of his performances from that night, "We Didn't Start the Fire" and "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant" were filmed and featured that night as part of ABC's special New Year's Y2K coverage. The concert (dubbed The Night of the 2000 Years) ran for close to four hours and was later released as 2000 Years: The Millennium Concert.
    To add onto his achievements Joel was inducted into the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame in 1999.
    More Details Hide Details Ray Charles made the induction speech and mentioned the duet Joel wrote for the two of them, "Baby Grand" (a track on Joel's album The Bridge released in 1986).
  • 1997
    Joel performed with Brooks during his Central Park concert in 1997.
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    1997's "To Make You Feel My Love" and "Hey Girl" both charted from Joel's Greatest Hits Volume III album.
    More Details Hide Details Joel wrote and recorded the song "Shameless" that was later covered by Garth Brooks and reached No. 1 on Billboards country charts.
  • 1994
    Joel and Brinkley divorced on August 25, 1994.
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    On August 25, 1994, Joel and second wife Christie Brinkley divorced, but they remained friends.
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    Beginning in 1994, Joel toured extensively with Elton John on a series of "Face to Face" tours, making them the longest running and most successful concert tandem in pop music history.
    More Details Hide Details During these shows, the two have played their own songs, each other's songs and performed duets. They grossed over US$46 million in just 24 dates in their sold out 2003 tour. Joel and John resumed the Face to Face tour in March 2009 and it ended again, at least for the time being, in March 2010 in Albany, New York, at the Times Union Center. In February 2010, Joel denied rumors in the trade press that he canceled a summer 2010 leg of the tour, claiming there were never any dates booked and that he intended to take the year off. Joel told Rolling Stone magazine: "We'll probably pick it up again. It's always fun playing with him." However, in March 2012 he told an audience at the University of Florida that the Face to Face shows "got to be a little confining" because Elton John insisted that they keep playing the same sets. "I don't think we'll do it anymore", Joel said.
  • 1993
    The eponymous first single was the last top 10 hit Joel has penned to date, reaching No. 3 on Billboards Hot 100 chart and ranking at No. 21 on the 1993 year-end Hot 100 chart.
    More Details Hide Details In addition to the title track, the album includes the hits "All About Soul" (with Color Me Badd on backing vocals) and "Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)", written for his daughter, Alexa. A radio remix version of "All About Soul" can be found on The Essential Billy Joel (2001), and a demo version appears on My Lives (2005). The song "The Great Wall of China" was written about his ex-manager Frank Weber and was a regular in the setlist for Joel's 2006 tour. "2000 Years" was prominent in the millennium concert at Madison Square Garden, December 31, 1999, and "Famous Last Words" closed the book on Joel's pop songwriting for more than a decade.
    That year, Joel also started work on River of Dreams, finishing the album in early 1993.
    More Details Hide Details Its cover art was a colorful painting by Christie Brinkley that was a series of scenes from each of the songs on the album.
  • 1992
    In 1992, Joel inducted the R&B duo Sam & Dave into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
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    In the summer of 1992, Joel filed another $90 million lawsuit against his former lawyer Allen Grubman, alleging a wide range of offenses including fraud, breach of fiduciary responsibility, malpractice and breach of contract but the case was eventually settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.
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    In 1992, he submitted essays to the school board and was awarded his diploma at Hicksville High's annual-graduation ceremony, 25 years after leaving.
    More Details Hide Details Influenced by early-rock-and-roll and rhythm-and-blues artists, including groups such as The Beatles, The Drifters and The Four Seasons, he favored tightly-structured pop melodies and down-to-earth, unpretentious songwriting.
  • 1989
    The first single for the album, "We Didn't Start the Fire", was released in September 1989 and it became Joel's third and – to date – most-recent US number-one hit, spending two weeks at the top.
    More Details Hide Details Storm Front was released in October, and it eventually became Joel's first number-one album since Glass Houses, nine years earlier. Storm Front was Joel's first album since Turnstiles to be recorded without Phil Ramone as producer. For this album, he wanted a new sound, and worked with Mick Jones of Foreigner fame. Joel is also credited as one of the keyboard players on Jones' 1988 self-titled solo album, and is featured in the official video for Jones' single "Just Wanna Hold"; Joel can be seen playing the piano while his then-wife Christie Brinkley joins him and kisses him. Joel also revamped his backing band, dismissing everyone but drummer Liberty DeVitto, guitarist David Brown, and saxophone player Mark Rivera, and bringing in new faces, including multi-instrumentalist Crystal Taliefero. Storm Fronts second single, "I Go to Extremes" reached No. 6 in early 1990. The album was also notable for its song "Leningrad", written after Joel met a clown in the Soviet city of that name during his tour in 1987, and "The Downeaster Alexa", written to underscore the plight of fishermen on Long Island who are barely able to make ends meet. Another well-known single from the album is the ballad "And So It Goes" (#37 in late 1990). The song was originally written in 1983, around the time Joel was writing songs for An Innocent Man; but "And So It Goes" did not fit that album's retro theme, so it was held back until Storm Front.
    The release of the album Storm Front coincided with major changes in Joel's career and inaugurated a period of serious upheaval in his business affairs. In August 1989, just before the album was released, Joel dismissed his manager (and former brother-in-law) Frank Weber after an audit revealed major discrepancies in Weber's accounting.
    More Details Hide Details Joel subsequently sued Weber for $90 million, claiming fraud and breach of fiduciary duty and in January 1990 he was awarded $2 million in a partial judgement against Weber; in April, the court dismissed a $30 million countersuit filed by Weber.
  • 1987
    Joel, his family (including young daughter Alexa), and his full touring band made the trip in August 1987.
    More Details Hide Details The entourage was filmed for television and video to offset the cost of the trip, and the concerts were simulcast on radio around the world. Joel's Russian tour was the first live rock radio broadcast in Soviet history. Most of that audience took a long while to warm up to Joel's energetic show, something that had never happened in other countries he had performed in. According to Joel, each time the fans were hit with the bright lights, anybody who seemed to be enjoying themselves froze. In addition, people who were "overreacting" were removed by security. It was during this concert that Joel, enraged by the bright lights, flipped his piano and snapped a microphone stand while continuing to sing the current part of the set. He later apologized for that incident. The album КОНЦЕРТ (Russian for "Concert") was released in October 1987. Singer Pete Hewlett was brought in to hit the high notes on his most vocally challenging songs, like "An Innocent Man". Joel also did versions of The Beatles' classic "Back in the U.S.S.R." and Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are a-Changin". It has been estimated that Joel lost more than $1 million of his own money on the trip and concerts, but he has said the goodwill he was shown there was well worth it.
  • 1986
    In October 1986, Joel and his handlers started planning a trip to the Soviet Union.
    More Details Hide Details He became one of the first American rock acts to play there since the Berlin Wall went up, a fact not lost on history buff Joel. There were live performances at indoor arenas in Moscow, Leningrad and Tbilisi.
  • 1985
    Joel married his second wife, Christie Brinkley, aged 31 at the time, in March 1985.
    More Details Hide Details Their daughter, Alexa Ray Joel, was born December 29, 1985. Alexa was given the middle name of Ray after Ray Charles, one of Joel's musical idols.
    Joel participated in the USA For Africa We Are The World project in 1985, capping off a series of successful singles.
    More Details Hide Details Following the success of An Innocent Man, Joel was asked about releasing an album of his most successful singles. This was not the first time this topic had come up, but Joel had initially considered "Greatest Hits" albums as marking the end of one's career. This time he agreed, and Greatest Hits Vol. 1 and 2 was released as a four-sided album and two-CD set, with the songs in the order in which they were released. The new songs "You're Only Human (Second Wind)" and "The Night Is Still Young" were recorded and released as singles to support the album; both reached the top 40, peaking at No. 9 and No. 34, respectively. Greatest Hits was highly successful and it has since been certified double diamond by the RIAA, with over 11.5 million copies (23 million units) sold. It is one of the best-selling album in American music history, according to the RIAA.
  • 1983
    Joel's next album moved away from the serious themes of The Nylon Curtain and struck a much lighter tone. The album An Innocent Man was Joel's tribute to R&B and doo wop music of the 1950s and 1960s and resulted in Joel's second Billboard number-one hit, "Tell Her About It", which was the first single off the album in the summer of 1983.
    More Details Hide Details The album itself reached No. 4 on the charts and No. 2 in UK. It also boasted six top-30 singles, the most of any album in Joel's catalog. The album was well received by critics, with Stephen Thomas Erlewine, senior editor for AllMusic, describing Joel as being "in top form as a craftsman throughout the record, effortlessly spinning out infectious, memorable melodies in a variety of styles." At the time that the album was released, WCBS-FM began playing "Uptown Girl" both in regular rotation and on the Doo Wop Live. The song became a worldwide hit upon its release. The music video of the song featured Christie Brinkley as a high society girl, whose car pulls into the gas station where Joel's character is working. At the end of the video, Joel's "grease monkey" character drives off with his "uptown girl" on the back of a motorcycle. When Brinkley went to visit Joel after being asked to star in the video, the first thing Joel said to her upon opening his door was "I don't dance". Brinkley had to walk him through the basic steps he does in the video. That began a relationship between the two that later led to their marriage. Also, the Wilson Pickett-inspired song "Easy Money" would be featured in the 1983 Rodney Dangerfield film of the same name.
  • 1982
    From one of the final shows of the tour, Joel made his first video special, Live from Long Island, which was recorded at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York on December 30, 1982.
    More Details Hide Details It was originally broadcast on HBO in 1983 before it became available on VHS. The Nylon Curtain went to No. 7 on the charts, partially due to heavy airplay on MTV for the videos to the singles "Allentown" and "Pressure". "Allentown" spent six weeks at a peak position of No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it one of the most-played radio songs of 1982, pushing it into 1983's year-end Top 70, and making it the most successful song from The Nylon Curtain album, besting "Pressure" which peaked at No. 20 (where it resided for three weeks) and "Goodnight Saigon" which reached No. 56 on U.S. charts.
    In 1982, he embarked on a brief tour in support of the album.
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    However, production was temporarily delayed when Joel was involved in a serious motorcycle accident on Long Island on April 15, 1982, severely injuring his hands.
    More Details Hide Details Still, Joel quickly recovered from his injuries, and the album only ended up being delayed by a few weeks.
  • 1979
    In 1979, Joel also traveled to Havana, Cuba, to participate in the historic Havana Jam festival that took place between March 2–4, alongside Rita Coolidge, Kris Kristofferson, Stephen Stills, the CBS Jazz All-Stars, the Trio of Doom, Fania All-Stars, Billy Swan, Bonnie Bramlett, Mike Finnegan, Weather Report, and an array of Cuban artists such as Irakere, Pacho Alonso, Tata Güines and Orquesta Aragón.
    More Details Hide Details His performance is captured in Ernesto Juan Castellanos's documentary Havana Jam '79. The success of his piano-driven ballads like "Just the Way You Are", "She's Always a Woman", and "Honesty" led some critics to label Joel a "balladeer" and "soft rocker". Joel thought these labels were unfair and insulting, and with Glass Houses, he tried to record an album that proved that he could rock harder than his critics gave him credit for, occasionally imitating and referring to the style of new wave rock music that was starting to become popular at the time. On the front cover of the album, Joel is pictured in a leather jacket, about to throw a rock at a glass house (referring to the adage that "people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones"). Glass Houses spent six weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard chart and yielded such hits as "You May Be Right" (used as the theme song, covered by Southside Johnny, for the CBS mid-1990s sitcom Dave's World) (#7, May 1980), "Don't Ask Me Why" (#19, September 1980), "Sometimes a Fantasy" (#36, November 1980) and "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me", which became Joel's first Billboard number-one single (for two weeks) in July 1980. "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me" spent 11 weeks in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 and was the 7th biggest hit of 1980 according to American Top 40.
  • 1978
    Expectations were high for Joel's next album, 52nd Street, which he released in 1978, naming it after Manhattan's famous 52nd Street, which, at the time of its release, served as the world headquarters of CBS/ Columbia.
    More Details Hide Details The album sold over seven million copies, propelled to number one on the charts by the following hits: "My Life"(#3); followed successes from the album were "Big Shot" (#14), and "Honesty" (#24). A cover of "My Life" (sung by Gary Bennett) became the theme song for a new television sitcom, Bosom Buddies, which featured actor Tom Hanks in one of his earliest roles. 52nd Street won Grammy awards for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male and Album of the Year.
  • 1976
    Disenchanted with Los Angeles, Joel returned to New York City in 1976 and recorded Turnstiles, the first album he recorded with the group of hand-picked musicians who became the Billy Joel Band.
    More Details Hide Details Produced by James William Guercio (then Chicago's producer), Turnstiles was first recorded at Caribou Ranch with members of Elton John's band. Dissatisfied with the result, Joel re-recorded the songs and produced the album himself. "Say Goodbye to Hollywood" was a minor hit; Ronnie Spector recorded a cover as did Nigel Olsson, then drummer with Elton John. In a 2008 radio interview, Joel said that he no longer performs the song because singing it in its high original key "shreds" his vocal cords; however, he did finally play it live for the first time since 1982 when he sang it at the Hollywood Bowl in May 2014. Though never released as a single, "New York State of Mind" became one of Joel's best-known songs; Barbra Streisand and Tony Bennett have each recorded covers (Bennett's a duet with Joel on Playing with My Friends: Bennett Sings the Blues). Other notable songs from the album include "Summer, Highland Falls", "Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)", "Say Goodbye to Hollywood", (a live version of which became a Top 40 hit), and "Prelude/Angry Young Man", a concert mainstay.
  • 1975
    In late 1975, he played piano and organ on several tracks on Bo Diddley's The 20th Anniversary of Rock 'n' Roll all-star album.
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  • 1974
    Joel's songwriting began attracting more attention; in 1974 Helen Reddy recorded "You're My Home" (Piano Man).
    More Details Hide Details Joel recorded a second album in Los Angeles: Streetlife Serenade. His manager was Jon Troy, an old friend from the New York neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant. Troy would soon be replaced by Joel's wife Elizabeth. Streetlife Serenade contains references to suburbia and the inner city. It is perhaps best known for "The Entertainer", a No. 34 hit in the US. Upset that "Piano Man" had been significantly cut for radio play, Joel wrote "The Entertainer" as a sarcastic response: "If you're gonna have a hit, you gotta make it fit, so they cut it down to 3:05." Although Streetlife Serenade is often considered one of Joel's weaker albums (Joel dislikes it himself), it contains the notable songs "Los Angelenos" and "Root Beer Rag", an instrumental that was a staple of his live set in the 1970s.
  • 1973
    Weber and Joel married in 1973, and she became his manager. His song "She's Always a Woman" was inspired by her. She was also the inspiration for the waitress character in "Piano Man". They divorced on July 20, 1982.
    More Details Hide Details Joel mentioned in a television interview on the UK's Five that he had dated Elle Macpherson in the 1980s, prior to his marriage to Christie Brinkley. Joel has also said that the songs "This Night" and "And So It Goes" were written about his relationship with Macpherson.
    Joel's first album with Columbia was Piano Man, released in 1973.
    More Details Hide Details Despite modest sales, Piano Man's title track became his signature song, ending nearly every concert. That year Joel's touring band changed. Guitarist Al Hertzberg was replaced by Don Evans, and bassist Larry Russell by Patrick McDonald, himself replaced in late 1974 by Doug Stegmeyer, who would stay with Joel until 1989. Rhys Clark returned as drummer and Tom Whitehorse as banjoist and pedal steel player; Johnny Almond joined as saxophonist and keyboardist. The band toured the US and Canada extensively, appearing on popular music shows.
  • 1972
    Joel signed a recording contract with Columbia in 1972 and moved to Los Angeles; he lived there for the next three years.
    More Details Hide Details For six months he worked at The Executive Room piano bar on Wilshire Boulevard as "Bill Martin", composing his signature hit "Piano Man" about the bar's patrons. Despite Joel's new contract, he was still legally bound to Family Productions. Artie Ripp sold Joel's first contract to Columbia. Walter Yetnikoff, the president of CBS/Columbia Records at the time, bought back the rights to Joel's songs in the late 1970s, giving the rights to Joel as a birthday gift. Yetnikoff notes in the documentary film The Last Play at Shea that he had to threaten Ripp to close the deal.
  • 1971
    Joel began his Cold Spring Harbor tour in the fall of 1971, touring with his band (Rhys Clark on drums, Al Hertzberg on guitar, and Larry Russell on bass guitar) throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico, opening for groups such as the J. Geils Band, The Beach Boys, and Taj Mahal.
    More Details Hide Details Joel's performance at the Puerto Rican Mar Y Sol Pop Festival was especially well-received; interest in his music grew. During the spring of 1972, the Philadelphia radio station WMMR-FM began playing a concert recording of "Captain Jack", which became an underground hit on the East Coast. Herb Gordon, a Columbia Records executive, heard Joel's music and introduced him to the company.
  • 1969
    Joel and drummer Jon Small left the Hassles in 1969 to form the duo Attila, releasing an eponymous debut album in July 1970.
    More Details Hide Details The duo disbanded the following October when Joel began an affair with Small's wife, Elizabeth, whom Joel eventually married. Joel signed a contract with the record company Family Productions (owned by Artie Ripp but backed by Gulf + Western), with which he recorded his first solo album, Cold Spring Harbor (a reference to Cold Spring Harbor, New York, a town on Long Island). Ripp states that he spent $450,000 developing Joel; nevertheless, the album was mastered at the wrong speed and as a result, the album was a technical and commercial disappointment. The popular songs "She's Got a Way" and "Everybody Loves You Now" were originally released on this album, but went largely unnoticed until being released as live performances on Songs in the Attic (1981). Columbia released a remastered version of Cold Spring Harbor in 1983.
  • 1967
    Joel left the band in 1967 to join the Hassles, a Long Island group that had signed with United Artists Records.
    More Details Hide Details Over the next year and a half they released four singles and two albums (The Hassles and Hour of the Wolf). All were commercial failures.
  • 1964
    Joel states that in 1964 he played on a recording of the Shangri-Las' "Remember (Walking in the Sand)" but he is unaware of whether he played on the demo or master version; The released single included a co-producer credit for Artie Ripp, who later was the first to sign and produce Joel as a solo artist after Michael Lang, who had given Joel a monetary advance, passed Joel along to Ripp to focus his attentions elsewhere instead.
    More Details Hide Details In late 1965, the Echoes changed their name to the Emeralds and then to the Lost Souls.
  • 1957
    Rosalind and Howard Joel divorced in 1957.
    More Details Hide Details Howard Joel moved to Vienna, Austria. Billy Joel has a sister, Judith, and a half-brother, Alexander Joel, a classical conductor in Europe, who was the chief musical director of the Staatstheater Braunschweig from 2001 to 2014. He reluctantly began piano lessons at an early age, at his mother's insistence, his teachers including the noted American pianist Morton Estrin and musician Timothy Ford. As a teenager, Joel took up boxing so he could defend himself. He boxed successfully on the amateur Golden Gloves circuit for a short time, winning 22 bouts, but abandoned the sport shortly after his nose was broken in his 24th boxing match. Joel attended Hicksville High School until 1967, but he did not graduate with his class. He had been playing at a piano bar to help his mother make ends meet, which interfered with his attendance; specifically, he missed a crucial English exam, as he had been playing a late-night gig at a piano bar the evening before. Though Joel was a comparatively strong student, at the end of his senior year, he did not have enough credits to graduate. Rather than attend summer school to earn his diploma, Joel decided to begin a career in music: "I told them, 'To hell with it. If I'm not going to Columbia University, I'm going to Columbia Records, and you don't need a high school diploma over there'."
  • 1949
    William Martin Joel was born in the Bronx on May 9, 1949, and was raised in a Levitt house in a section of Levittown, New York that was located in the town of Oyster Bay.
    More Details Hide Details In 1963, when ZIP codes were assigned, the section of Levittown in Oyster Bay was given a Hicksville, New York ZIP code and has since been part of Hicksville. Joel's father, Howard (born Helmuth) Joel, a classical pianist, was born in Germany, to a Jewish family, the son of a merchant and manufacturer, Karl Amson Joel. Howard immigrated to Switzerland and later to the US (via Cuba, as immigration quotas for German Jews prevented direct immigration at the time) to escape the Nazi regime. Joel's mother, Rosalind, was born in England to Jewish parents, Philip and Rebecca Nyman.
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