William Martin "Billy" Joel (born May 9, 1949) is an American pianist, singer-songwriter, and composer. Since releasing his first hit song, "Piano Man," in 1973, Joel has become the sixth best selling recording artist and the third-best-selling solo artist in the United States. His compilation album Greatest Hits Vol. 1 & 2 is the third-best-selling album in the United States by discs shipped.
Joel had Top 40 hits in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, achieving 33 Top 40 hits in the United States, all of which he wrote himself. He is also a six-time Grammy Award winner who has been nominated for 23 Grammy Awards throughout his career. He has sold over 150 million records worldwide.
Joel was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame (1992), the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1999), and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame (2006). In 2001, Joel received the Johnny Mercer Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2013, Joel received the Kennedy Center Honors, the nation's highest honor, for influencing American culture through the arts.
Discography Main article: Billy Joel discography
- Cold Spring Harbor (1971)
- Piano Man (1973)
- Streetlife Serenade (1974)
- Turnstiles (1976)
- The Stranger (1977)
- 52nd Street (1978)
- Glass Houses (1980)
- The Nylon Curtain (1982)
- An Innocent Man (1983)
- The Bridge (1986)
- Storm Front (1989)
- River of Dreams (1993)
- Fantasies & Delusions (2001)
Face-to-Face tours Beginning in 1994, Joel toured extensively with Elton John on a series of "Face to Face" tours, making them the longest running and most successful concert tandem in pop music history. During these shows, the two have played their own songs, each other's songs and performed duets. They grossed over US $46 million in just 24 dates in their sold out 2003 tour. Joel and John resumed the Face to Face tour in March 2009 and it ended again, at least for the time being, in March 2010 in Albany, NY, at the Times Union Center. In February 2010, Joel denied rumors in the trade press that he canceled a summer 2010 leg of the tour, claiming there were never any dates booked and that he intended to take the year off. Joel told Rolling Stone magazine: "We’ll probably pick it up again. It’s always fun playing with him." However, in March 2012 he told an audience at the University of Florida that the Face to Face shows “got to be a little confining” because Elton John insisted that they keep playing the same sets. “I don't think we'll do it anymore,” Joel said.
2013/2014 Concerts In May 2013 it was announced that Joel will be holding his first ever indoor Irish concert at the O2 in Dublin on November 1. He subsequently announced his return to the UK for the first time in seven years to perform three dates in October and November. Joel will play two arena dates in Manchester and Birmingham plus a very special - more intimate - show at London’s Hammersmith Apollo. In October, Billy Joel held a surprise concert on Long Island at The Paramount (Huntington, NY) to benefit Long Island Cares. The venue holds a capacity of 1,555 and sold out in 5 minutes. Joel headlined a solo arena concert in New York City for the first time since 2006 when he performed at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on December 31, 2013. Joel will perform several concerts in various cities throughout January and February 2014.
MSG Residency On December 3, 2013, it was announced that Joel would become a franchise of Madison Square Garden, playing one concert a month indefinitely, starting with a date on January 27, 2014.