Billy Joel

Billy Joel, Singer, NYC


Home New York City Famous Personalities Info

Billy Joel

Getting Started

Index

NYC Neighborhoods

Manhattan
Brooklyn
Queens
Bronx
Staten Island

NYC Icons

Chrysler Building
Flatiron Building
Empire State Building

Safe NYC

NYPD
FDNY

NYC Weather

NYC Climate
NYC Weather Forecast
Winter Season
Spring Season
Summer Season
Fall Season

NYC History & Politics

New York City History
Tammany Hall and Politics
New York City Politicians
New York City Personalities

Culture of Gotham City

Culture of the city
Cultural diversity
City in popular culture

William Martin "Billy" Joel (born May 9, 1949) is an American singer, pianist, songwriter, and composer. He released his first hit song, "Piano Man", in 1973. According to the RIAA, he is the sixth best selling artist in the United States.

Joel had Top 10 hits in the '70s, '80s, and '90s, is a six-time Grammy Award winner and has sold in excess of 150 million albums worldwide. He was inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame (Class of 1992), the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Class of 1999), and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame (Class of 2006). Joel retired from recording pop music in 1993 but continued to tour (sometimes with Elton John). In 2001 he subsequently released Fantasies & Delusions, a CD of classical compositions for piano. In 2007 he returned to recording with a single entitled "All My Life", followed by a rather large "World Tour" from 2005-2007, covering many of the major world cities.

Career

Born in the Bronx, New York, Joel was raised in Hicksville, New York. His father Howard was originally from Germany where his father (Billy Joel's grandfather) Karl Amson Joel had owned the fourth-largest mail order company in Germany before being dispossessed by the Nazis. His mother, Rosalind Nyman, was born in England, to an agnostic Jewish family. His parents later divorced, and his father moved back to Vienna, Austria. His sister Judith Joel, and half-brother Alexander Joel is an acclaimed classical pianist and conductor in Europe, now living in New York.

From an early age, Joel had an intense interest in music; especially European classical music. He reluctantly began piano lessons at an early age at his mother's insistence. His interest in music instead of sports was the source of teasing and bullying in his early years. (He has said in interviews that his piano instructor also taught ballet. This led neighborhood bullies to mistakenly think he was learning to dance.) As a teenager, Joel took up boxing so that he would be able to defend himself. He boxed successfully on the amateur Golden Gloves circuit for a short time (winning twenty-two bouts), but abandoned the sport shortly after having his nose broken in his twenty-fourth boxing match.

Joel attended Hicksville High School, and was to have graduated in 1967. However, he was one English credit short of the graduation requirement; he overslept on the day of an important exam due to his late-night musician's lifestyle. Faced with a summer in school to complete this requirement, he decided not to continue. He left high school without a diploma to begin a career in music. Despite the Vietnam War and the draft, Joel performed no military service. Because he was the sole provider for his mother and sister the selective service gave him an exemption . In 1992, the English credit requirement was waived by the Hicksville School Board and he received his diploma at Hicksville High's graduation ceremony 25 years after he left the school.

The Hassles released two albums (The Hassles in 1967 and Hour of the Wolf, 1968) on the United Artists record label. Following The Hassles' demise in 1969, he formed the keyboard-and-drums based heavy metal duo Attila with Hassles drummer Jon Small. Attila released their eponymous debut album in July 1970 and disbanded the following October.



This is NYC

New York City Neighborhoods

NYC has a rich history in diversity and the city as a whole is nothing more than many small neighborhoods. Explore it with us..

NYC Neighborhoods
Manhattan Island

NYC Waterfronts & Beaches

NYC's waterfront is roughly 600 miles long and the overall form of the Harbor has remained unchanged from the time of Giovanni da Verrazzano. Learn more about the harbor, its shores and its waterways.

NYC Waterfronts
New York City Beaches

History and Politics of NYC

Did you know that New York City was briefly the U.S. capital during 1789-90 and was state capital until 1797?

New York City History
Tammany Hall and Politics
New York City Politicians

Culture of Gotham City

The culture of NYC is shaped by centuries of immigration, the city's size and variety, and its status as the cultural capital of the United States.

Culture of the city
Cultural diversity
City in popular culture




Travel & Transportation

The dominant mode of transportation in New York City is mass transit - Subways and Buses. However, it is the Taxicabs that are real New York icons!

Safety & Security

How safe is New York City? Contrary to popular belief, the City consistantly ranks in the top ten safest large cities in the United States. The NYPD is the largest municipal police force in the world and has it's own Movie/TV Unit.

New York Climate

New York has a humid continental climate resulting from prevailing wind patterns that bring cool air from the interior of the North American continent. New York winters are typically cold with moderate snowfall.
New York Weather Forecast

Demographics

New York's two key demographic features are its density and diversity. The New York City metropolitan area is home to the largest Jewish community outside Israel. It is also home to nearly a quarter of the nation's South Asians, and the largest African American community of any city in the country.
Ethnic composition



New York Newspapers

Niagara Falls Express: Overnight Tour from New York Romance Over Manhattan Private Helicopter Flight

home | get listed | privacy policy | site map back to top

Quick Links to Neighborhoods Manhattan | Bronx | Brooklyn | Queens | Staten Island

Website: 2004-08 NYCTouristGuide.com All Rights Reserved. Permission must be secured prior to duplication of any content, including images.
All Photos: 2000-2007 Nishanth Gopinathan | StockPhotographs.org, unless otherwise credited. All International Rights Reserved.

Hosting: PixvieweRTM Web Hosting | Web Design: Live EyesTM (LiveEyes.org)