William Martin "Billy" Joel (born May 9, 1949) is an American singer-songwriter. He produced successful pop songs for two decades, from 1973's Piano Man to 1993's River of Dreams which marked his retirement. As well as writing classical music, he has frequently been on the road, usually with Elton John.
Joel was born in the Bronx, New York City. He grew up in Hicksville, Long Island, New York. He joined his first band The Echoes (Later known as The Lost Souls) at age fourteen, and in the late 1960s he teamed up with The Hassles. The Hassles when on to release two albums. In 1970 After parting ways with The Hassles Joel and Hassles Drummer Jon Small Formed a two man duo Attila. In 1971 his solo debut, Cold Spring Harbor, was released. (The title takes its name from a town in Long Island.)
He is a Democrat.
Several other albums of his were released in later years, including:
- Streetlife Serenade (1974)
- Turnstiles (1976)
- 52nd Street (1978)
- Songs in the Attic (1980)
- An Innocent Man (1983)
Joel has been married three times. The first two ended in divorce; he is separated from his third wife. His second marriage, from 1985-1994, was to supermodel Christie Brinkley. Their daughter, Alexa Ray Joel (born 1985) is his only child. His daughter's middle name is taken from one of his musical influences, Ray Charles.