Billy Joel, born William Martin Joel on May 9, 1949, in Bronx, New York, U.S., is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and pianist. He is one of the most popular and successful solo artists in the world. His music career spans over five decades and he has released 33 albums to date. Joel has been a regular on the charts since 1977 with his album “The Stranger.” The album was certified platinum four times and it also won the Grammy Award for ‘Album of the Year’ in 1978. He has been nominated for 23 Grammy Awards and he has won six of them.
William Martin Joel
Billy Joe, The Piano Man, Mr. Long Island, Joe
May 9, 1949
Billy Joel is an American musician and composer, who’s best known for his vocals, piano playing, and songwriting. He was born on May 9 1949 in the Bronx. He is an American legend, with over 150 million albums sold. Joel’s early life was not easy. His parents had to fight for benefits when he was born and his father went on to die in a car accident when Joel was ten years old. But that didn’t stop him from pursuing his career as a singer-songwriter, pianist, and composer. He’s an artist with a rich history.
He has released a total of 33 albums during his career. His first album was “Cold Spring Harbor,” which was released in 1971. This album didn’t have much success and it only managed to sell around 30 000 copies. The album that made him famous was “Piano Man.” It was released in 1973 and sold over 10 million copies worldwide.”We Didn’t Start the Fire” is his most recent album. It’s a collection of songs he’s written throughout the years, with Mike DelGuidice’s words and Joel’s vocals. Tony Bennett and John Legend make cameo appearances on the album.
Joel has been nominated for 23 Grammy Awards and he has won six of them — three times as a member of Billy Joel & Elton John Band (1985), twice as a member of Tony Bennett’s band (2006), and once as a solo artist (1998). He won two Grammy Awards for the song ‘Just The Way You Are’ in 2010 and one for ‘Piano Man’ in 2012.
In 2019, Joel announced a concert at Camden Yards— home of the Baltimore Orioles — marking the first-ever concert at the baseball stadium. Joel was forced to postpone his concerts between March 2020 and August 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Joel joins The Hassles — a Long Island group that signs with United Artists Records.
Joel signs a solo recording contract and releases his first album — “Cold Spring Harbor,” he also commences a world tour with his band to promote it.
One of his most iconic albums is released and becomes his first top 20 single and first gold album.
He sets a new record for himself after “The Bridge” album becomes his all-time bestseller, it also wins two Platinum Discs.
He is inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to honor his legendary and singular musical career.
Why We Love Billy Joel
His 9/11 performance
His Madison Square Garden performance to honor the victims of the World Trade Center attacks was one of the most emotive homages of 2001 and a great tribute to those heroes and victims.
Joel partially taught himself to play the piano when he was a child. No one is born knowing everything, and success requires discipline and commitment.
Joel is known to have an anti-war stance. This was evident during the United State’s involvement in Vietnam. He also touches on the subject in many of his works.
5 Surprising Facts
He’s written a lot of songs
During his career, Joel has written over 150 songs.
His first performance was at a bar
People didn't realize they were in front of one of the most brilliant composers of the future when he had his first performance at a jazz nightclub in New York City.
He has encyclopedic knowledge about The Beatles
He can name any Beatles song after hearing only the first three seconds, and they are his all-time favorite band.
More than 50 Top 40 hits
Such a steady and consistent record can only be done by a composer who is willing to be the best version of himself every day.
He was a D.J. in his free time
Joel was a D.J. among his friends, though not a particularly good one.
Billy Joel FAQs
Why did Billy Joel stop making music?
He realized he’d reached his limit and couldn’t perform as well as he wanted to.
What is Billy Joel’s best-selling song?
‘We Didn’t Start the Fire’ is his best-selling song.
Did Billy Joel serve in Vietnam?
Joel did not serve in Vietnam. He planned to migrate to Canada after draft news came around.
Billy Joel’s birthday dates