One of the most legendary voices in American music history, Billy Joel has legions of fans all around the world. The “Piano Man” hit maker has sold millions of records worldwide and is a charismatic live performer. Over the course of his critically acclaimed career he has been nominated for twenty three Grammy Awards and has six wins to his name.
Billy Joel’s earliest music influences were rhythm and blues artists and rock and roll groups like The Four Seasons, The Drifters and The Beatles. According to Joel, he preferred simple, unpretentious songwriting, with compact pop melodies.
Joel decided to begin a career in music after watching The Beatles’ performing on the Ed Sullivan Show. He could relate to the four musicians who were writing and performing their own stuff and did not look like they cared for other people’s opinions. As a result, he joined the band Echoes in the early 1960s. Echoes was a band which primarily covered British Invasion songs. Joel played the piano in the band and started recording with Echoes in 1965. His work was noticed and he was signed as a solo artist by Artie Ripp.
Joel released his first album as a solo artist in 1971. Titled Cold Spring Harbor, it introduced the world to Joel’s sound. The album charted on the Billboard 200 at 158. After his first album made waves in the industry, Billy Joel was signed by Columbia Records. His first album with the label was Piano Man, which was released in 1973.
Initially the album did not do very well commercially; however, its title song became Joel’s signature track and would usually be his show’s closing number. The album eventually peaked at number 27 on the Billboard 200. In later years, as Joel’s popularity soared, Piano Man became a huge commercial success and today it is certified four times platinum in the US.
Joel has gone on to release eleven studio albums since then. His next ten albums would go on to chart very well on the Billboard 200 and all have been certified at least platinum in the US. His massive commercial success and mammoth album sales have made Joel one of the best selling solo artists in music history.
Billy Joel stopped releasing albums after his 1993 record, River of Dreams. His only new material to come out since then was 2007’s “Christmas in Fallujah” and “All My Life.” During his concerts, Joel performs numbers from his colorful solo career and fans more often than not love his set lists.
Awards, Honors, Achievements and Accolades
Over the course of his career, Billy Joel has accomplished things, most artists only dream of doing. Joel spawned Top 40 hits on the Billboard 200 in all three decades that he released music (70s, 80s and 90s). He has been nominated for twenty three Grammy Awards and has six wins to his name. Joel has also won five non-honorary Grammy Awards.
Joel’s compilation album, Greatest Hits Vol.1 & 2, is one of the best selling albums in US history and the artist himself is the sixth best selling artist in the US. With album sales of over 150 million, Joel is also the third best selling solo artist in US history.
In recognition of his accomplishments, Joel was inducted to the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1992, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Long Island Hall of Fame in 2006. He also received a star on Hollywood’s fabled Walk of Fame in 2005.In 2013, Bill Joel was awarded the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors and in 2014 he received a Gershwin Prize from the Library of Congress. Joel also has multiple honorary doctorates from leading institutes, including the University of Syracuse, Berkley College of Music and the Manhattan School of Music.
Face to Face Tours
An avid touring artist, Joel has been on the road for most of his career. However, his most successful touring has been done alongside fellow pianist and legendary performer Elton John. The duo embarked on the first Face to Face tour in 1994 and continued the tours till 2010. During their 2003 run they performed 24 dates and grossed over 24 million dollars in the process. The Face to Face Tours have become the most successful and longest running artists’ collaborations in history.
Billy Joel In Concert
Billy Joel is currently on a worldwide concert tour which began in January 2014 and will end in December 2016. The concert series began in Florida and has included shows in Australia and the United Kingdom.
As part of his tour, Joel has created a residency at New York’s famous Madison Square Garden. He has usually played one show every month at the venue as Billy Joel tickets are in demand. In January 2015, Joel set a new record for most consecutive sold out shows at the venue, by playing this thirteenth show at the venue. In July of the same year, he broke Elton John’s record for most shows at the venue by a solo artist. It was his 65th show.
During this tour, Joel also played the last show at the famed Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum before the venue was shut down for a major restoration project. The Nassau Coliseum, which opened in 1972, has been a major hub of arena rock shows in the US and legendary artists like Elvis Presley, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie and The Grateful Dead have performed here. Joel performed the last concert at the venue before its closure in August 2015.
The tour’s set list features some of Joel’s greatest hits like “We Didn’t Start the Fire”, “The Entertainer”, “Sometimes a Fantasy”, “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me”, “Uptown Girl”, “Only the Good Die Young” and “Piano Man”. In most shows Joel and his band have also performed a cover of AC/Dc’s iconic “Highway to Hell”.
Billy Joel’s songs are evergreen and memorable and his concerts are legendary. Joel’s mastery over various vocal techniques and his smooth singing style has made his one of rock music’s greatest voices. You now have a chance to watch the Piano Man live in concert. All you need to do is to buy Billy Joel tickets.