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Billy Joel Biography

Here is the Billy Joel Biography: the story behind the singer/songwriter and performer.


An Innocent Man Billy Joel

Billy Joel Biography Part 1: Growing Up

William Martin Joel was born in the Bronx on May 9th, 1949, and was raised in Hicksville, Long Island.

Joel's dad was an accomplished pianist himself, and Billy started piano lessons at an early age, around 4 years old.

From 1963 he played in a few different bands, first The Echoes (later known as The Lost Souls), followed by The Hassles and then Attila.

Landing His First Record Deal

In 1970 Joel signed a solo record contract with Family Productions and released his first solo album, Cold Spring Harbour, in 1971.

Unfortunately the album was mastered incorrectly; legal wrangles and contractual disputes followed, and Billy disappeared to the west coast, playing in piano bars under the name Billy Martin (supposedly where the inspiration for the Piano Man song came from.

Billy Joel Biography Part 2: Success At Last...

By 1972, his song Captain Jack found its way onto Philadelphia radio, and eventually Columbia Records tracked him down and offered him a record contract.

By 1973 his career started to really take off and those famous Billy Joel songs were created; Piano Man which in 1974 became his first top 20 single; in 1977 his breakthrough album, The Stranger, was Columbia's biggest selling album through until 1985.

In 1978, 52nd Street was released and became his first No 1 Album; in 1979 Glass Houses, followed by Songs In The Attic (1981), The Nylon Curtain and An Innocent Man (1982) were all top ten albums.

The Nylon Curtain was a massive success, with more Billy Joel hits - Pressure, Allentown, and Goodnight Saigon.

An Innocent Man produced yet more wonderful Billy Joel songs, this time stylised on 1960s pop - Tell Her About It, An Innocent Man, The Longest Time, Keeping The Faith, and Uptown Girl.

The Billy Joel Biography doesn't stop there...

In 1985 Joel married supermodel Christie Brinkley and they have a daughter, Alexa Ray; Joel also released the album The Bridge, in collaboration with Ray Charles, Cyndi Lauper and Steve Winwood.

In 1988, Storm Front was released, with his single We Didn't Start The Fire reaching #1 on Billboard Singles Charts.

In 1991, he recorded River Of Dreams, released in 1993.

By 1998, worldwide sales reached the 100 million mark!

2007: the album All My Life was released, his first album since 1993.

Billy Joel Discography

Billy Joel Hits List

Back To Billy Joel Music

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