Singer and creator Billy Joel is celebrating a birthday today.
(Photo: Hulton Archive)
He was born on May 9, 1949 in the Bronx, New York. His name at birth was William Martin Joel
In honor of his birthday, we'll tell you 10 crazy facts about him:
1. Joel's father was a Jew who fled Germany during the Holocaust. As a child he used to go with his Christian friends to church just to hang out with them and today he is an atheist.
2. He believes in ghosts. He said that he saw a 19th-century woman sitting on a chair and combing her hair at his home in East Hampton. He later sold the house to comedian Jerry Seinfeld.
3. He graduated from high school only at the age of 43. In 1992 he completed the tests and assignments required to obtain a high school diploma and received the "diploma".
4. In his youth Joel won several boxing competitions. In one of these competitions, he broke his nose. He started learning boxing only to deal with the bullying against him at school.
5. Before becoming the "Piano Man" Joel was a member of the band "The Hassles" and later also part of the psychedelic hard rock/metal band called "Attila". Do not believe? just listen to this:
6. His first solo album "Cold Spring Harbor" was accidentally recorded at the wrong speed in a way that made his voice sound unnatural and thus led to bad reviews and commercial failure.
7. He signed a contract with a record company thanks to his pirated bootleg recording performing the song "Captain Jack". The bootleg was broadcast on Philadelphia radio and caught the attention of a Columbia Records representative who hurried to sign Joel on a recording contract.
8. He is one of the best-selling artists in the world with sales of over 150 million copies. In the US he is ranked third among solo artists, even above Michael Jackson.
9. Joel is the only artist who has managed to fill all of New York's huge stadiums: "Shea" Stadium, "Yankee" Stadium, "Giants" Stadium and "Madison Square Garden". He is also the last artist to play at "Shea" Stadium. The even more insane statistic is that for 6 consecutive years he has been making a monthly sold-out shows at "Madison Square Garden". It continued into 2020 and the only thing that stopped it was Covid-19.
10. He played the piano in the song "Be Chrool to Your Scuel" by "Twisted Sister", from their fourth album "Come Out and Play", which was released in 1985.
And now let's let the music talk with a playlist of his songs we've prepared for you: Here.