Billy Joel

Pianist, Songwriter and Composer Billy Joel
Everett Collection / Shutterstock.com

Full Name: William Martin Joel
Profession: Pianist, Songwriter and Composer

Nationality:
United States of America
American

Biography: Billy Joel was born and raised in New York City. He started piano lessons at age 4. His parents divorced when he was 8, leaving his mother to raise him and his sister alone, as his father relocated to Vienna, Austria. Seeing The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show inspired him to pursue a career in pop music.

Since releasing his first hit song, "Piano Man," in 1973, Billy Joel has become the fourth best-selling recording artist and the third best-selling solo artist in the United States. His 1977 album "The Stranger" proved to be his biggest commercial and critical success.

After his 1993 album "River of Dreams", Joel largely retired from songwriting, but continues to perform occasionally, including a monthly single-show residency at Madison Square Garden in NYC, which has been held since January of 2014.

Joel is also a five-time Grammy Award winner who has been nominated for 23 Grammy Awards throughout his career and has sold more than 160 million records worldwide. Joel was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1992, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999.

He has been married four times - to Elizabeth Small (1973-82);‚Äč to model
Christie Brinkley (1985-94); to celebrity chef Katie Lee (2004-09); and since 2015 to Alexis Roderick. He has three children.

Born: May 9, 1949
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York, USA
Age: 74 years old

Generation: Baby Boomer
Chinese Zodiac: Ox
Star Sign: Taurus

Married Life

  • 1985-03-23 American 'Piano Man' Billy Joel (34) weds American supermodel Christie Brinkley (31), on a yacht moored alongside the Statue Of Liberty; divorce in 1994
  • 1994-04-14 Musician Billy Joel & supermodel Christie Brinkley announce plans to divorce
  • 1994-08-25 American 'Piano Man' Billy Joel (45) and American supermodel Christie Brinkley (40) divorce after 9 years of marriage
  • 2004-10-02 "Piano Man" singer-songwriter Billy Joel (55) weds American television food critic and chef Katie Lee (23) at 15-acre waterfront estate in Centre Island, New York; divorce 2009
  • 2015-07-04 American music legend Billy Joel (66) weds fourth wife, American equestrian Alexis Roderick (33) at NY Governor Andrew Cuomo's Long Island home

Historical Events

  • 1971-11-01 Family Productions releases "Cold Spring Harbor", singer-songwriter Billy Joel's debut studio album; a mastering error caused music to be sped up
  • 1973-11-09 Columbia Records releases "Piano Man", singer-songwriter Billy Joel's second studio album
  • 1974-10-11 Columbia Records releases "Streetlife Serenade", singer-songwriter Billy Joel's third studio album
  • 1976-05-19 Columbia Records releases "Turnstiles", singer-songwriter Billy Joel's fourth studio album
  • 1977-09-29 Columbia Records releases "The Stranger", singer-songwriter Billy Joel's fifth studio album; it becomes the label's all-time best selling non-compilation record
  • 1978-10-11 Columbia Records releases "52nd Street", singer-songwriter Billy Joel's sixth studio album; it becomes his 1st chart-topper, and wins 3 Grammy Awards
  • 1978-10-13 "52nd Street" 6th studio album by Billy Joel is released (Grammy Award Album of the Year 1979)
  • 1979-02-15 21st Grammy Awards: Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are"; A Taste of Honey win
  • 1980-02-27 22nd Grammy Awards: Song of the Year - Kenny Loggins' "What A Fool Believes"; Best Album - Billy Joel's "52nd Street"
  • 1980-03-12 Columbia Records releases "Glass Houses", singer-songwriter Billy Joel's seventh studio album; it features his 1st No.1 single - "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me"
  • 1980-07-18 Billy Joel's "Glass Houses" album tops US charts, featuring "It's Still Rock 'n' Roll to Me"
  • 1981-02-25 23rd Grammy Awards: "Sailing" - Christopher Cross; and Billy Joel win
  • 1982-09-23 Columbia Records releases "The Nylon Curtain", singer-songwriter Billy Joel's eighth studio album
  • 1983-08-08 Columbia Records releases "An Innocent Man", singer-songwriter Billy Joel's ninth studio album; it featured three Billboard Top 10 hit singles: "Tell Her About It", "Uptown Girl". and the title track
  • 1985-09-22 First Farm Aid benefit concert, Champaign, Illinois; organized by Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp; performers included Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Billy Joel, B.B. King, Hoyt Axton, Joni Mitchell, Rickie Lee Jones, and Emmylou Harris
  • 1986-07-09 Columbia Records releases "The Bridge", singer-songwriter Billy Joel's tenth studio album
  • 1989-10-17 Columbia Records releases "Storm Front", singer-songwriter Billy Joel's eleventh studio album
  • 1990-06-22 Billy Joel performs a concert at Yankee Stadium, New York City
  • 1992-06-24 Billy Joel (43) gets diploma from Hicksville (New York) High School, 25 years after leaving with a missing English credit; he submitted samples of his writing to earn his degree
  • 1993-08-10 Columbia Records releases "River of Dreams", singer-songwriter Billy Joel's twelfth and final (unless he just changes his mind) studio album
  • 1993-08-30 "Late Show with David Letterman" debuts on CBS, from the Ed Sullivan Theater in NYC; Bill Murray is his first guest, Billy Joel performs
  • 1994-10-17 Billy Joel performs opening concert at Cleveland's Gund Arena
  • 1995-04-12 Rock for the Rainforest benefit concert held at Carnegie Hall, NYC; performers include: Sting, Elton John, James Taylor, Jon Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Jessye Norman, and Geoffrey Oryema
  • 1998-04-27 Rock for the Rainforest benefit concert held at Carnegie Hall, NYC; performers include: Sting, Elton John, James Taylor, Madonna, Billy Joel, Joe Cocker, Emmylou Harris, Roberta Flack, Wynonna Judd, and Tsidii Leloka
  • 1999-03-15 14th Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees: Billy Joel; Curtis Mayfield; Paul McCartney; Del Shannon; Dusty Springfield; Bruce Springsteen; The Staple Singers; Charles Brown; Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys; and George Martin
  • 1999-04-17 Rock for the Rainforest benefit concert held at Carnegie Hall, NYC; performers include: Sting, Elton John, James Taylor, Billy Joel, Tony Bennett, Don Henley, Ricky Martin and Charles Aznavour
  • 2000-04-13 Rock for the Rainforest benefit concert held at Carnegie Hall, NYC; performers include: Sting, Elton John, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, Ricky Martin, Billy Joel, Gladys Knight, Percy Sledge, Tom Jones, Martha Reeves, Macy Gray, Sam Moore, and The Impressions
  • 2002-10-24 Twyla Tharp's rock ballet "Movin' Out", set to songs of Billy Joel, opens at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, NYC; runs for 1,303 performances
  • 2004-04-21 Rock for the Rainforest benefit concert held at Carnegie Hall, NYC; performers include: Sting, Elton John, James Taylor, Billy Joel, Bette Midler, and Little Jimmy Scott
  • 2005-12-11 Twyla Tharp's rock ballet "Movin' Out", set to songs of Billy Joel, closes at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, NYC after 1,303 performances
  • 2006-05-19 Rock for the Rainforest benefit concert held at Carnegie Hall, NYC; performers include: Sting, James Taylor, Billy Joel, Sheryl Crow, and Lenny Kravitz
  • 2008-05-08 Rock for the Rainforest benefit concert held at Carnegie Hall, NYC; performers include: Sting, James Taylor, Billy Joel, Brian Wilson, Chris Botti, Feist, Roberto Alagna, and Natalie Clein
  • 2008-07-18 Billy Joel performs last of two concerts dubbed "The Last Play at Shea"; the final concert event before demolition of the 1964 baseball stadium in Flushing Meadows, Queens, NYC; featured guests include Roger Daltrey, Tony Bennett, Garth Brooks, and Paul McCartney
  • 2014-11-19 American singer-songwriter and piano man Billy Joel receives Library of Congress Gershwin Prize at the White House in Washington, D.C.

Biographies and Sources