Billy Joel

~ Person

Legal name: William Martin Joel


William Martin Joel (born May 9, 1949) is an American singer-songwriter, composer and pianist. Commonly nicknamed the "Piano Man", he has been making music since the 1960s, releasing popular albums throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

He was born in 1949 in The Bronx, New York, and grew up on Long Island, New York, both places that influenced his music. After dropping out of high school, Joel took part in two short-lived bands, The Hassles and Attila, before signing a record deal with Family Productions and kicking off a solo career in 1971 with his first release, Cold Spring Harbor. In 1972, Joel caught the attention of Columbia Records after a live radio performance of the song "Captain Jack" became popular in Philadelphia, prompting him to sign a new record deal with the company and release his second solo album, Piano Man, which contained his first hit single of the same name. After releasing two more albums, Streetlife Serenade and Turnstiles, Joel released his critical and commercial breakthrough album, The Stranger, in 1977; this album became Columbia's best-selling release, selling over 10 million copies and spawning several hit singles, including "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)" and "Just the Way You Are".

In 1978, Joel's album 52nd Street was his first album to peak at #1 on the Billboard 200 charts. Joel released his seventh studio album, Glass Houses, in an attempt to further establish himself as a rock and roll artist; this release featured It's Still Rock & Roll To Me, Joel's first single to top the Billboard Hot 100 charts, as well as Don't Ask Me Why and Sometimes a Fantasy. His next album, The Nylon Curtain, was released in 1982, and stemmed from a desire from Joel to create more lyrically and melodically ambitious music. An Innocent Man, released in 1983, served as an homage to genres of music which Joel had grown up with in the 1950s, such as Rhythm and Blues and doo-wop. After releasing the albums The Bridge and Storm Front in 1986 and 1989 respectively, Joel released his twelfth and final solo album, River of Dreams, in 1993. He went on to release Fantasies and Delusions, a 2001 album featuring classical compositions composed by Joel and performed by British-Korean pianist Richard Hyung-ki Joo. Joel also provided voiceover work in 1988 for the 27th animated Disney film, Oliver & Company, in which he provided the voice of the character Dodger.

Across the 20 years of his solo career, Joel produced 33 Top 40 hits in the US, all of which he wrote himself, and three of which ("It's Still Rock and Roll to Me", "Tell Her About It", and "We Didn't Start the Fire") managed to top the charts. He is also a six-time Grammy Award winner who has been nominated for 23 Grammy Awards. With over 150 million records sold worldwide, he is one of the best-selling artists of all time as well as the sixth best-selling recording artist and the third best-selling solo artist in the United States. His 1985 compilation album, Greatest Hits Vol. 1 & 2, is one of the best-selling albums in the US.

Joel was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame (1992), the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1999), and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame (2006). In 2001, Joel received the Johnny Mercer Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2013, Joel received the Kennedy Center Honors, the nation's highest honor for influencing American culture through the arts. Since the advent of his solo career, Joel has held a successful touring career, holding live performances across the globe in which he sings several of his written songs. In 1987, he became one of the very first artists to hold a rock and roll tour in the Soviet Union following the country's alleviation of the ban on rock and roll music. Despite largely retiring from writing and releasing pop music following the release of River of Dreams, he continues to tour. He frequently performs at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan. Joel has been in several relationships, including marriages to Elizabeth Weber Small, model Christie Brinkley, and Katie Lee. Since 2015, he has been married to Alexis Roderick, his 4th spouse.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1971 Cold Spring Harbor Billy Joel 4 6
1973 Piano Man Billy Joel 4.5 20
1974 Streetlife Serenade Billy Joel 3.65 11
1976 Turnstiles Billy Joel 4.5 12
1977 The Stranger Billy Joel 4.45 20
1978 52nd Street Billy Joel 4.65 24
1980 Glass Houses Billy Joel 14
1982 The Nylon Curtain Billy Joel 5 14
1983 An Innocent Man Billy Joel 13
1986 The Bridge Billy Joel 4 7
1989 Storm Front Billy Joel 12
1993 River of Dreams Billy Joel 3 12
2001 Fantasies & Delusions Billy Joel; Hyung‐ki Joo 2
2018 And So It Goes: Songs of Folk & Lore Eric Whitacre, Ivor Novello, Billy Joel; Elora Festival Singers, Noel Edison 2
Unlicensed Live Billy Joel 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1985 Greatest Hits Volume I & Volume II Billy Joel 3 18
1997 Greatest Hits, Volume III Billy Joel 6
1997 The Complete Hits Collection: 1973-1997 Billy Joel 2
1998 Remastered Billy Joel 1
1999 Early Years, Volume 2 Billy Joel 1
2000 The Ultimate Collection Billy Joel 8
2001 The Essential Billy Joel Billy Joel 4 3
2004 Piano Man: The Very Best of Billy Joel Billy Joel 5
2004 Sings Billy Joel 1
2005 My Lives Billy Joel 1
2007 x2 An Innocent Man / River of Dreams Billy Joel 1
2010 The Hits Billy Joel 1
2010 She's Always A Woman: Love Songs Billy Joel 1
2011 Further Than Heaven Billy Joel 1
2011 The Complete Albums Collection Billy Joel 1
2012 Original Album Classics Billy Joel 1
2013 She's Got a Way: Love Songs Billy Joel 1
2014 Collected Additional Masters Billy Joel 1
2014 Original Album Classics #2 Billy Joel 1
Billboard Hits U.S.A. Billy Joel 1
Retold, Volume 1: The Bridge to 52nd Street Billy Joel 1
Retold, Volume 2: The Piano Man From the Harbor Billy Joel 1
Retold, Volume 3 Billy Joel 1

Album + Interview

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1994 An Evening of Questions & Answers... & Perhaps a Few Songs. Recorded at Princeton University - Spring 1994 Billy Joel 1

Album + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1977 Souvenir Billy Joel 1
1981 Songs in the Attic Billy Joel 11
1987 Концерт Billy Joel 10
1990 That's Not Her Style (The Storm Front Tour CD) Billy Joel 1
1991 Live USA Billy Joel 2
1993 We Didn't Start The Fire Billy Joel 1
1994 Live from the River of Dreams Tour '93-'94 Billy Joel 1
1994 USA 1990/93 Billy Joel 1
1998 Face to Face Live in Japan 1998 Elton John & Billy Joel 1
2000 2000 Years: The Millennium Concert Billy Joel 5 4
2000 Live at Yankee Stadium Billy Joel 2
2001 Face to Face Live in Vancouver 2001 Elton John & Billy Joel 1
2003 Face to Face Live in Columbia 2003 Elton John & Billy Joel 1
2006 12 Gardens Live Billy Joel 4
2009 The Piano Men: Live in Tokyo Elton John & Billy Joel 2
2011 Live at Shea Stadium: The Concert Billy Joel 2
2011 Live on Air Billy Joel 1
1977-05-06: C. W. Post College, Greenvale, NY, USA Billy Joel 1
1977-12-11: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, NY, USA Billy Joel 1
1982-12-29: Long Island, NY, USA Billy Joel 1
1998-06-02: Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow, Scotland, UK Elton John & Billy Joel 1
Face to Face Elton John & Billy Joel 2
In Concert Billy Joel 1
Live Billy Joel 1
Live at Sigma Studios 4-15-1972 Billy Joel 1

Album + Soundtrack

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2002 Movin’ Out (Original Broadway Cast) Billy Joel 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1977 Just the Way You Are Billy Joel 5 1
1978 My Life / 52nd Street Billy Joel 2
1979 Honesty Billy Joel 5 2
1982 Pressure Billy Joel 1
1983 Tell Her About It Billy Joel 5 3
1983 Keeping the Faith Billy Joel 1
1983 Uptown Girl Billy Joel 5 2
1989 I Go to Extremes Billy Joel 1
1989 We Didn’t Start the Fire Billy Joel 4
1990 The Downeaster “Alexa” Billy Joel 1
1991 Shameless Billy Joel 1
1993 All about soul Billy Joel 1
1993 Shades of Grey Billy Joel 1
1993 The River of Dreams Billy Joel 5 3
1994 Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel) Billy Joel 1
1997 To Make You Feel My Love Billy Joel 2
1997 Hey Girl Billy Joel 1
1997 To Make You Feel My Love Billy Joel 1
2001 New York State of Mind Tony Bennett & Billy Joel 1
2007 All My Life Billy Joel 2
2014 Maybe I’m Amazed Billy Joel 1

Single + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1993 No Man's Land Billy Joel 1

Single + Soundtrack

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1992 All Shook Up Billy Joel 2


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1985 Interview with Billy Joel Billy Joel 1
1990 That’s Not Her Style Billy Joel 1

Broadcast + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1978 1978-03-05: Sonesta Koepel, Amsterdam, Netherlands Billy Joel 1
1984 From a Piano Man to An Innocent Man Billy Joel 1
2010 2010-11-16: The Howard Stern Show: New York, NY, USA Billy Joel 1
2014 2014-04-28: Billy Joel Town Hall: The Cutting Room, New York, NY, USA Billy Joel 1

Unspecified type

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1986 This Is the Time Billy Joel 1
1992 Night After Day Billy Joel 1
2011 The Last Play at Shea (The Documentary Film) Billy Joel 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1990 Live at Yankee Stadium Billy Joel 1
1994 Five Live Billy Joel 1

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