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Billy Joel
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Billy Joel

William Martin Joel (born May 9, 1949), better known as Billy Joel, is a pianist, singer and songwriter. He was married to famous supermodel Christie Brinkley from 1985 to 1994.

From an early age he had an intense interest in music, especially classical music.

Influences on him include:

He joined his first band at age fourteen, and participated in many more since and also played in piano bars under the name "Bill Martin". His first major album Piano Man was released in late 1973 and he has been releasing albums ever since. He has also toured successfully with Elton John, playing each other's songs.

Billy Joel has recently been returning to his fascination with classical music and has been experimenting in that area. Fantasies and Delusions, his first album of classical pieces, got a tepid response from critics but went to Number One on the classical charts.

In 2004, Joel became engaged to 26-year-old Katie Lee; at the time of the engagement Joel was 54 and had a 17 year old daughter.

Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, a list of 150 songs circulated on the Internet, purported to be from radio conglomerate Clear Channel Communications to its subsidiaries, with the recommendation that these songs be pulled from airplay (it was later revealed that the list was originally the work of a few specific station program directors, was not an official Clear Channel missive, and changed over time as it was redistributed). Joel's "Only the Good Die Young" was listed.

While Joel grew up on Long Island, outside of New York City, in a town called Hicksville, New York, and made many references to locations in the New York City metropolitan area, particularly the Island, in his songs, he is known internationally for celebrating life in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, which he tributed in one of his most popular songs, "Allentown," released in 1982. The song, one of Joel's most famous, depicted living in industrial Allentown, Pennsylvania in the early 1980s.

Selected discography