Billy Joel's Fine Just The Way He Is

Billy Joel AP

While he may not have Bob Dylan's mystique or Bruce Springsteen's cool, if you had to name the most popular American singer-songwriter of the past 30 years Billy Joel would be a pretty safe bet.

Since 1974, Billy Joel has sold more than 100 million albums and been nominated for 23 Grammy awards.

And earlier this year, he did something no performer in history has done: sold out New York's Madison Square Garden; not once or twice, but an unprecedented 12 concerts in a row, reports CBS Sunday Morning contributor Russ Mitchell.

Not bad for a 57-year-old, who by his own admission, finds it laughable that he's a rock star.

"A rock star is supposed to be, you know, kind of matinee idol-lookin'. That kind of tall, thin, English-lookin' thing," Joel quips. "I was talkin' about this with Bono and we both decided we look like bricklayers," Joel says of himself and the front man for U2.

"You know, how'd we get to be rock stars? We just don't look the part.

Even on the grounds of his $22 million Long Island estate, Joel can't help but feel like a trespasser. Yet Joel is firmly entrenched in his roots.

"I know where I'm from and I know who I am," Joel says. "And I got good friends, who will give me a whack upside the head if I get too carried away."

Who he is, is William Martin Joel, a blue-collar kid from Hicksville, Long Island.

From the day he was born in 1949, there was music.

"There was always music playing. My mother was always singing, my father was playin' the piano. I heard music all the time," he says.

His true calling became clear the first time he saw the Beatles on TV, when Joel said his desire to perform "clicked."
  • Sean Alfano

Comments

Follow Us

On Twitter