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|Billy Joel at opening night of the 2009 season at the Metropolitan Opera|
|Full name||William Martin Joel|
|Birthday/Birthplace||(1949-05-09) May 9, 1949
The Bronx, New York City, U.S.
|Origin||Hicksville, New York|
William Martin “Billy” Joel (born May 9, 1949 in the Bronx) is an American singer, songwriter and pianist.
Billy Joel has recorded many popular hits and achieved more than 40 hits since 1973 (starting with the single “Piano Man”) until his retirement in 1993, although he continues to do tours. He is one of the few rock and pop artists who achieved success in the “Top Ten” of the 70, 80, and 90. Grammy Award winner six times, has sold more than 100 million records in the world and is the sixth artist with the most sales in the United States, according to the RIAA.He has made successful artistic tours sometimes with Elton John in addition to writing and recording classical music. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999, as well as in the hall of fame for composers and singers in 1992.
Billy Joel’s Biography
Billy Joel first lived in the South Bronx, in New York City, but his family soon moved to Long Island, specifically, to the Levittown section of Hicksville. His parents subsequently divorced, and his father returned to Austria. His stepbrother Alexander Joel is an acclaimed classical pianist and conductor in Europe.
From an early age, Billy Joel had an intense interest in music, especially classical music. Billy Joel began his piano lessons at age 4, and his interest in music instead of sports was the cause of many arguments and quarrels in his early years As a teenager, Billy Joel took boxing classes that allowed him to defend himself.He fought successfully in the amateur circuit of “Golden Gloves” for a short time, but left the sport after a boxing match where he broke his nose.
Billy Joel studied at Hicksville High School and graduated in 1967. However, he did not have enough credits in an English subject to graduate; He fell asleep the day of a major exam due to his nightlife lifestyle, having to attend summer courses to complete that requirement, he chose not to continue. He left school without a diploma to begin his career musician and although he was fond of boxing, in the end he decided on the piano. He played with various groups that did not provide much success (such as The Hassless or Attila), until in 1971 he recorded in New York the album Cold Spring Harbor that was not very successful either. But his presentation at the Mar Y Sol Festival of Puerto Rico on April 2, 1972 aroused the interest of Columbia Records, company with which he signed in 1973 and from there he achieved success with his album Piano Man.
The 70s: Piano Man, The Stranger, Stardom and Fame
It was in 1973 that he achieved great success with his album “Piano Man”. And it is precisely the song that gives name to the album, which is considered to date as one of the great songs of pop-rock of all time. In 1974 being in Los Angeles he recorded the album “Streetlife Serenade” which included the hit “The Entertainer” where he continues to approach with different nuances the theme of the optimistic pianist, far from luck, but who struggles and is passionate about his vocation, in a Hard and competitive world, like its predecessor “Piano Man”. In 1976 he recorded the album “Turnstiles”.
But the best was yet to come, for this pianist composer and singer, in 1977 the album “The Stranger” won him two Grammy awards, first as Best Record of the Year, with songs like “Movin ‘Out” or ” Only the Good Die Young “. In addition the emblematic “Just the Way you Are” was a success since its appearance, Grammy winner as best song of the year and heard in the world, is perhaps the theme of Billy Joel with more versions in history and was written for Elizabeth Weber his wife at that time. Great singers like Barry White, Diana Krall and Jose Jose, who sang it in Spanish, included it in their albums. The album is considered among the 100 best albums in history by Rolling Stone magazine, along with Billy Joel’s next album, titled “52nd Street” in late 1978, which cemented his fame and success with powerful and harmonious ballads such as ” Honesty “or” My Life “among others. This album won the Grammy for best vocal performance in a male artist.
The 80s: the consecration
During the 80s, Joel’s music changed, from that cheerful, virtuous and sticky rock / pop, accompanied by lyrics that talked about experiences in bars, telling stories of trips and returns like “Seen The Lights Gone Out On Broadway”, “New York State of Mind” or “Allentown”, had a radical change in the 80s where his style and lyrics changed to make them a bit more romantic, introspective and quiet, especially at the beginning of the decade. Joel had to change the passivity of his lyrics and music, which, not being passive, stopped being brilliant, and had to adapt to the predominant style of the 80s, the excessive joy in explicit society in the songs of each artist. Joel’s first album in the 80’s “The Nylon Courtain” of 1982 deals with introspective themes and, at a certain point, bordering on politics, like wars, which leaves see in his song “Goodnight Saigon”, one of his best songs and that means a home Naje to those soldiers lost in the Vietnam War.
In 1983 he released the album “An Innocent Man” with hits like “Tell Her About it” and the catchy “Uptown Girl”. This album is a tribute of Billy Joel to the music of his childhood. Billy Joel considers this as an album of singers and makes a tribute to different musical styles, including: “Uptown Girl” – A tribute to Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons “The Longest Time” – A homage to the doo style -wop, made popular in the mid-50s. This song required 14 vocal tracks, each made by Billy Joel and put together during production. In 1985 he released “The Greatest Hits” a double album compilation of his best hits from 1973 to 1985. In 1986 he released “The Bridge” which contains songs like the successful “Matter Of Trust.” At the end of the decade Joel changed his appearance again , and his music again became the classic storyteller of the 70s, with his unique descriptions and with his catchy rhythms in each song he wrote, so in 1989 at 40 he released the excellent album “Storm Front” of the The theme was an overwhelming success. “We Did not Start the Fire” is a song that refers to the main historical events that took place in the world (Cold War, ideologies, politicians, artists, etc) from the moment Joel was born until he composed the song (from 1949 to 1989) The events that are named are mixed with a chorus that says: “We did not start the fire.” The song was number one in the US lists. The song and the video have been interpreted as a response to criticism of Joel’s generation, on behalf of those who preceded and succeeded it, affirming that its protagonists had been the culprits of the problems that afflicted the world at that time. The title of the song, as well as its refrain, imply that the frenzy and agitation with which others criticized them, reflected the state of the world since ancient times, long before their generation, but that those critics did not take it into account. The message contrasts sharply with the song “Allentown,” which he composed earlier in his career, and in which he blames his parents’ generation for contemporary problems.
In 1992, the credit he owed on the subject of English was dispensed by the Hicksville board and he received his diploma at a graduation ceremony after 25 years after he left school. In 1993 he edited his twelfth album “River Of Dreams” where he discusses themes such as fidelity and long-lasting love; it is rumored that the themes of trust and betrayal, particularly in certain lyrics of the song “All About Soul”, show the disputes with the manager and excuñado, Frank Weber, of whom reports an embezzlement to Billy Joel and use of dubious accounting practices for cover it This is the last studio pop album recorded by Billy Joel; from then on compilations of great successes were recorded: Volumes III and IV, recordings of the best concerts, remasters, etc.
He has been married 3 times, once with model Christie Brinkley, they had a daughter named Alexa Ray Joel, 23 years old; who has already released an album and has stood out equally, as a pianist and soul singer.
Billy Joel is considered one of the greatest singer-songwriters of all time, winner of 6 Grammys in his career, including the Grammy Legend for his contribution to music. His legacy in pop culture it is only comparable to that of other greats like Elton John or Frank Sinatra among others, songs that will remain immortal through the years and that have thrilled 3 complete generations. Billy Joel is, above all, a shrewd accountant Stories, a rock troubadour. His particular stamp, melodic Pop / Rock songs with a subtle and fantastic touch of the piano, and as lyrics, any story that Joel could tell, ranging from trips, parties, love stories, and unexpected encounters.
Billy Joel Net Worth – $180 Million
More Facts about Billy Joel
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