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Highlights on Billy Joel |  CNN



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Here’s a look into the life of Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Billy Joel.

Date of Birth: May 9, 1949

Place of birth: Bronx, New York

Birth name: Guillaume Martin Joel

Dad: Howard Joel, engineer and pianist

Mother: Rosalind (Nyman) Joel, housewife

Marriages: Alexis Roderick (2015-present); Katie Lee (2004-2009, divorced); Christie Brinkley (1985-1994, divorced); Elizabeth Weber (1973-1982, divorced)

Children: with Alexis Roderick: Remy Anne and Della Rose; with Christie Brinkley: Alexa Ray

Nominated for 23 Grammy Awards and won five, plus an honorary award.

Nominated for a Tony Award and won.

Nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award but did not win.

Her father was a Holocaust survivor in Germany.

Named one of the 100 greatest songwriters of all time by Rolling Stone.

Holds the lifetime record for most performances by any artist at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

He played the first ever rock concert at New York’s Yankee Stadium in 1990, and the last ever rock concert at New York’s Shea Stadium before it was torn down in 2008.

1965 – At age 15, played piano on a demo version of the Shangri-Las’ hit single, “Leader of the Pack”.

1971 – Releases his first solo album, “Cold Spring Harbor”.

1973 – Releases his first hit single, “Piano Man”.

February 15, 1979 – Won two Grammy Awards for Song of the Year and Record of the Year for “Just the Way You Are.”

February 27, 1980 – Won two Grammy Awards for Album of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for his album “52nd Street.”

February 25, 1981 – Won Grammy for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance for “Glass Houses.”

April 15, 1982 – Is hospitalized after seriously injuring both hands in a motorcycle accident on Long Island. He needs two months to recover.

July 26, 1987 – As the first American artist to launch a large-scale rock production in the Soviet Union, Joel gave his first concert in Moscow; five other concerts follow, including two more in the capital and three in Leningrad.

January 1990 – Forty thousand copies of a ten-minute audio message from Joel, along with a recording of his 1989 hit, “We Didn’t Start the Fire”, are being sent to schools across the United States in hopes that it will help them understand the story.

February 25, 1992 – Receives the Grammy Legend Award.

1992 – Becomes a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

September 1992 – Files a fraud and breach of contract lawsuit against his legal team for their role in mismanaging his financial affairs. The case was settled in October 1993.

1994 – Launches his Face-to-Face tour with Elton John. Joel and John performed additional Face-to-Face tours together in 1995, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2009 and 2010.

1999 – Ray Charles inducts Joel into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

2001 – Releases a classical music album, “Opus 1-10 Fantasies & Delusions – Music for Solo Piano.”

June 14, 2002 – Enters Silver Hill Hospital in Connecticut for treatment for alcohol abuse.

October 24, 2002 – The Broadway show “Movin’ Out”, based on music by Joel, opens. The production is conceived, directed and produced by Twyla Tharp.

2003 – Won a Tony Award for Best Orchestration for the Broadway musical “Movin’ Out.”

2004 – Scholastic publishes Joel’s first children’s book, “Goodnight My Angel: A Lullabye”.

March 2005 – Enters a rehabilitation center for the treatment of alcoholism.

2005 – Scholastic publishes Joel’s second children’s book, “New York State of Mind”.

February 14, 2007 – Releases a song, “All My Life,” for his wife, Katie Lee, on People Magazine’s website.

November 2010 – Undergoes double hip replacement surgery at a New York hospital.

December 12, 2012 – Along with Bruce Springsteen and the Rolling Stones, Joel performs at Madison Square Garden to help raise funds for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

December 8, 2013 – Is a recipient of the Kennedy Center Performing Arts Award.

January 2014 – Begins its run as the first musical act to perform monthly shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

June 18, 2014 – Joins the fight to criminalize the ivory trade. Joel posts a letter on his website stating, “I am a pianist. And I realize that ivory piano keys are preferred by some pianists… but a preference for ivory keys does not justify killing 96 elephants every day.

November 19, 2014 – Receives the 6th Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

March 23, 2016 – Joel’s hit single, “Piano Man”, is selected by the National Recording Registry for preservation at the Library of Congress.

July 18, 2018 – Plays its 100th concert at Madison Square Garden. Springsteen is his guest.


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