Billy Joel is an American musician, singer-songwriter, and composer. He is known around the world for his music and often nicknamed the "Piano Man" after his first fundamental hit and signature track of the same name, he excelled at being as a solo artist beginning in the 1970s, and having launched 12 studio albums from 1971 to 1993 and in 2001 released a solo studio album. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, the seventh best-selling recording artist and the fourth best-selling solo artist in the United States, with over one hundred fifty million albums sold across the world. His 1985 compilation album, Greatest Hits Vol. 1 & 2, is one of the best-selling albums in the history of the United States.
Joel was born in the Bronx, New York, and grew up on Long Island. He attests that both place influenced his music. From the urging of his mother, he took piano classes growing up. Before his solo career and after dropping out to high school to do pursue his love of music, Joel was a member of two short-run bands, The Hassles and Attila. In 1972, Joel caught the interest of Columbia Records after a performance on live radio of "Captain Jack". The song became immensely beloved in Philadelphia, influencing the deal with the organization and then the launch his second album, in 1973, Piano Man. After releasing the albums Streetlife Serenade (1974) and Turnstiles (1976), in 1977, Joel released his indispensable and milestone album, The Stranger. It sold over 10 million copies and became Columbia's best-selling release. It generated various hit singles, along with "Just the Way You Are", "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)", "Only the Good Die Young", and "She's Always a Woman". A song from this album "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant", is Joel's favorite and went on to be a centerpiece of his live shows.
Joel's next album, 52nd Street (1978), was his first album to climb to number 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Glass Houses, in 1980, was Joel’s seventh album. He made this album in hopes to further prove himself as a rock and roll artist. This album featured "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me", which was his first number 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Joel’s was motivated to create more lyrically and melodically extravagant music for his next album and thus The Nylon Curtain (1982) was born. An Innocent Man (1982) was to pay tribute to genres of music Joel had grown up with in the 1950s, the motivation included rhythm and blues and doo-wop; this album starred "Uptown Girl" and "The Longest Time", two of his most well-known songs. The Bridge and Storm Front in were released in 1986 and 1989. Then Joel released his twelfth studio album in 1993 River of Dreams. He went on to release Fantasies and Delusions, a 2001 album featuring classical compositions composed by using Joel and carried out with the aid of British-Korean pianist Richard Hyung-ki Joo. Joel did some voiceover work in 1988 for the Disney movie Oliver & Company, in which he played Dodger, and contributed to the soundtracks to numerous exceptional films, which include Easy Money, Ruthless People, and Honeymoon in Vegas.
Joel created 33 Top 40 hits in the US throughout his 20 year solo career. All of these songs he wrote himself and three of them hit number one of the Billboard Hot 100 charts. Joel has been nominated for 23 Grammys, won five of those nominations, including the prestigious award for Album of the Year for 52nd Street. He was inducted 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. In 2001, Joel earned the Johnny Mercer Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2013, Joel acquired the Kennedy Center Honors, for influencing American way of life via the arts. From the start, Joel has maintained a triumphant touring career, including live performances across the world. In 1987 after the Soviet Union lifted their ban of roll and roll music, Joel became one of the first musicians to tour there. Although he is mostly retired from writing and releasing music anymore, he continues to tour; one of his most common spots is Madison Square Garden.
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