Music icon Billy Joel continues in 2019 his concerts at Madison Square Garden. That’s not the only good news: aside from his live shows at MSG, the six Grammy awards winner will perform this year also in a handful of locations: Phoenix, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston and Arlington. If you are planning to see “The Piano Man” live, check the list of dates.
In 2014, Billy Joel became the 4th franchise at “Madison Square Garden”, joining the select gallery of residents Rangers, Knicks and Liberty. All his performances at the “World’s Most Famous Arena” have been sold out, showing that fans who bought more than 2 million tickets are still in love with Joel’s incredible music and talent. Many of the concerts that Joel played featured guests – famous musicians like Sting, Paul Simon or Tony Bennett. Joel achieved in July 2018 the unparalleled performance of 100 concerts at “Madison Square Garden”, an event that he celebrated with fans and Bruce Springsteen as a special guest.
The shows that Joel offers fans at MSG are impressive not only because of the high quality of his music but also because of the enormous people effort invested: more than 1,500 people from ushers to musician join hands in getting ready each concert and even more impressive, many of them have worked if not on all, on most of the concerts hosted by the Garden. All that talent and force concentration doesn’t pass unnoticed by fans who continue to come to see Joel, making this residency a highly profitable one: by October 2015, Joel’s series of concerts have raised more than $45 million in sales. Joel performed for the first time at MSG in 1978 and since that time he’s had a run of 12 consecutive sold-out performances in 2006 and a concert to support the victims of Sandy hurricane.
Born on the 9th of May 1949 in Bronx, New York, William Martin “Billy” Joel is one of the most popular musicians of all time. His impressive career has been honored by both fans and critics: more than 150 million albums sold all over the world, a “Greatest Hits” collection ranking #3 in an all-time chart, after Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and Eagles’ “Greatest Hits”, inducted in both “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” and “Songwriters Hall of Fame”, awarded for “Piano Man” with “The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song”.
Billy’s love for music began when he was four, with the study of piano, something his mother has encouraged him to do. By 16 he was already a piano professional, deciding that he will dedicate his life to music. After dropping out of high school, he created in 1971 his first solo album. “Cold Spring Harbor” was not a commercial success, but Billy didn’t give up. In 1972 he got a gig as a pianist at “The Executive Room”, using the name Bill Martin and he would later transpose this experience in the awarded song “Piano Man”. In 1974, he released the album “Streetlife Serenade”, which featured songs about the increased frustration with music industry loss of identity.
Despite his disappointment in the music industry, Joel’s commercial breakthrough came in 1977. “The Stranger” album had 4 songs that reached Top 25 of U.S. Billboard charts. His musical style developed, ranging from pop to blues-jazz, a unique style that he will bring to new levels. The ‘80s was even a more successful decade for the sixth best-selling recording artist of all time: he won the Grammy award for “Best Male Rock Vocal Performance” and a “People’s Choice Award”, he released the all-time hit “Uptown Girl”, two collections of “Greatest Hits” and became the first American artist to perform a live concert in the former Soviet Union. Joel was involved also in benefit concerts alongside fellow musicians like Cyndi Lauper and John Mellencamp, to support various charity causes. The end of the ‘80s brought the musician a new award – “Grammy Legend Award” and offered the fans all over the world a new hit: “We Didn’t Start the Fire”. The next great commercial success came in 1994 with “River of Dreams”, a year in which the artist decided to slow down a bit with the studio work and, instead, has hit the road either alone either alongside musicians like Elton John.
Just before the passing into the new millennium, in 1999, Joel had new reasons to celebrate: his songs had reached the 100 million sales milestone and he was inducted in the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame”, a distinction presented by his long-life idol, Ray Charles. Due to alcohol addiction, Billy spent the first part of the 2000s in and out of various rehab centers. 13 years passed until he released a new song. “All my life” came in 2007 and showed the public that Billy Joel’s talent didn’t diminish with the passing of time. Although he decided to stop recording new songs, the musician continued to reinvent older songs by using orchestral support. In 2014, a new chapter of his professional life began with the series of concerts at “Madison Square Garden”.
As for personal life, there have been some bumps along the way: after divorcing in 1982 Elizabeth Weber Small, Joel divorced also supermodel Christie Brinkley in 1993 and journalist Katie Lee in 2009. But in 2015 the sun began to shine once again on Joel’s love life: he got married on the 4th of July to Alexis Roderick, who gave birth on the 12th of August the same year to daughter Della Rose Joel. A second daughter of the couple was born in October 2017, making Joel the father of three girls, as he has also a daughter – Alexa Ray (named after his idol, Ray Charles) from his marriage to Christie Brinkley.
For more than 4 decades, Billy Joel has been a symbol of inspiring storytelling through music. Through his unique music style, his high-class interpretation, meaningful lyrics and charismatic presence on the stage, Billy continues to touch the lives of millions of fans, both long-established and new-comers. With an authentic music star career behind and a glorious live-entertainer career in front, Joel has the kind of wisdom that inspires young people which aim to build a career in the music industry.
In an interview for “Rolling Stones” for example, one of the pieces of advice that Joel had for young musicians was: “don’t be afraid of mistakes, because the only original thing we ever do is make mistakes”. He also explained, in the past years, that he gave up writing songs in 1993, even if he had 33 hits in Top 40 because he could no longer be as good as he wanted to. So, when something once beautiful no longer works, it’s time to move on. And this is exactly what this music icon had done, ending a chapter and beginning a new one.
If you want to see how successful the new chapter of his life is, you can enjoy one of the amazing live music experiences he will offer this year by getting a ticket form one of the better sites online.