From an early age he had an intense interest in music, especially classical music.
Influences on him include Ray Charles, Dave Brubeck, Sam Cooke, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and Otis Redding. 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, radio conglomerate Clear Channel Communications sent out of a list of 150 songs that were recommended to be pulled from airplay. 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.
Billy Joel Facts
|Birth Name||William Martin Joel|
|Birthday||May 9, 1949 (74)|
|Birthplace||Bronx, New York, USA|
|Height||5' 7" (1m70) How tall is Billy Joel compared to you?|
|Billy Joel: Live At Shea Stadium|
|The Last Play at Shea BLU RAY / DVD COMBO|
|A Matter of Trust: The Bridge to Russia: The Concert|
|Billy Joel: Live at Yankee Stadium|
|Billy Joel: A Matter of Trust: The Bridge to Russia|
|Billy Joel: The Last Play At Shea|
|Like A Country Song|