Billy Joel – Biography, Songs, Albums, & Facts

Billy Joel Biography

William Martin Joel is a vocalist, pianist, composer, and songwriter from the United States. He has led a commercially successful solo career as a solo artist since the 1970s, having released 12 pop and rock studio albums from 1971 to 1993, as well as one studio album of classical compositions in 2001. He is commonly referred to as the “Piano Man” after his album and signature song of the same name. With over 160 million records sold globally, he is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, as well as the seventh-best-selling recording artist and the fourth-best-selling solo artist in the United States. Greatest Hits Vol. 1 & 2 from 1985 is one of the best-selling albums in the United States.

Joel was born on May 9, 1949, in The Bronx and grew up on Long Island, both of which affected his music. He received piano lessons as a child at his mother’s encouragement. After dropping out of high school to pursue a music career, Joel was a member of two short-lived bands, The Hassles and Attila, before securing a record deal with Family Productions and launching his solo career with Cold Spring Harbor in 1971. After a live radio performance of the song “Captain Jack” became popular in Philadelphia in 1972, Joel attracted the attention of Columbia Records, causing him to negotiate a new record deal with the label and release his second album, Piano Man, in 1973. After releasing the albums Streetlife Serenade and Turnstiles in 1974 and 1976, respectively, Joel produced The Stranger in 1977, which was both critically and commercially successful. This album went on to become Columbia’s best-selling release, selling over 10 million copies and spawning several hit singles, including “Just the Way You Are,” “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song),” “Only the Good Die Young,” and “She’s Always a Woman”; another song on this album, “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant,” is Joel’s favourite of his own songs and has become a staple of his live shows.

52nd Street, Joel’s next album, was released in 1978 and became his first to reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. In an attempt to further establish himself as a rock artist, Joel released his seventh studio album, Glass Houses, in 1980; this release featured “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” (Joel’s first single to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart), “You May Be Right”, “Don’t Ask Me Why”, and “Sometimes a Fantasy”. The Nylon Curtain, Joel’s next album, was released in 1982, and reflected his aim to make more lyrically and melodically ambitious songs. An Innocent Man, released in 1983, served as a tribute to styles of music that Joel had grown up with in the 1950s, such as rhythm & blues and doo-wop; this CD included three of his best-known songs, “Tell Her About It,” “Uptown Girl,” and “The Longest Time.” Joel’s twelfth studio album, River of Dreams, was released in 1993, following the releases of The Bridge and Storm Front in 1986 and 1989, respectively. Fantasies and Delusions, a 2001 album including classical pieces by Joel and played by British-Korean pianist Richard Hyung-ki Joo, was his next release. Joel did voiceover work for the Disney animated picture Oliver & Company in 1988, in which he played the character Dodger with his song “Why Should I Worry?” He has contributed to the soundtracks of several other films, including Easy Money, Ruthless People, and Honeymoon in Vegas.

Joel had 33 top 40 songs in the United States throughout his solo career, all of which he composed himself, and three of which (“It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me,” “Tell Her About It,” and “We Didn’t Start the Fire”) peaked at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 charts. Joel has received 23 Grammy nominations, winning five of them, including Album of the Year for 52nd Street.

Joel was elected into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1992, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999, and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2006. Joel earned the Johnny Mercer Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2001. Joel was awarded the Kennedy Center Honors in 2013 for his contributions to American culture through the arts. Joel has had a great travelling career since the beginning of his solo career, doing live performances all over the world. He was one of the first performers to hold a rock tour in the Soviet Union when the country lifted its ban on rock music in 1987. Despite basically retiring from writing and recording pop music after River of Dreams, he still tours and frequently plays at Madison Square Garden.


The BridgeSpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
An Innocent ManSpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
The Nylon CurtainSpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Glass HousesSpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
52nd StreetSpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
The StrangerSpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Streetlife SerenadeSpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Piano ManSpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Cold Spring HarborSpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon

Top Videos

Frequently Asked Questions

Billy Joel?

Billy Joel is an American musician, singer-songwriter, and composer. Joel had Top 40 hits in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide.

What Is Billy Joel’S Signature Song?

Billy Joel’s signature song is “Piano Man.” The song is about a struggling musician who tries to make ends meet by playing piano in a bar. The song has been covered by many artists, including Ray Charles and Elton John.

How Many Top 40 Hits Did Billy Joel Have?

Billy Joel had 33 Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100.

What Was Billy Joel’S First Big Hit?

Billy Joel’s first big hit was “Piano Man.” The song was released in 1973 and quickly rose to the top of the charts, becoming one of his signature songs. “Piano Man” helped launch Billy Joel’s career and cemented his status as a musical legend.

How Many Songs Did Billy Joel Record?

Billy Joel recorded a total of 33 studio albums throughout his career. These albums have produced a total of 128 singles, including “She’s Always a Woman” and “Uptown Girl.” Billy Joel has sold over 150 million records worldwide, making him one of the bestselling music artists of all time.

Most Searched For Billy Joel Songs

We Didn’t Start the Fire SpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
My Life SpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Uptown Girl SpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
And So It Goes SpotifyYouTubeAmazon
Vienna SpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Piano Man SpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
The River of Dreams SpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
She’s Always a Woman SpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
The Longest Time SpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Pressure SpotifyYouTube