US musician: He is the “Piano Man”: Billy Joel turns 75

On the occasion of the 75th birthday of the US musician Billy Joel, the question often asked on such occasions as to whether it's about time to disappear into a well-deserved rock 'n' roll pension is superfluous in an extremely relaxed way.

US musician: He is the “Piano Man”: Billy Joel turns 75

On the occasion of the 75th birthday of the US musician Billy Joel, the question often asked on such occasions as to whether it's about time to disappear into a well-deserved rock 'n' roll pension is superfluous in an extremely relaxed way. After all, the artist, who was born on May 9, 1949 in New York City, is one of the most famous early retirees in music history.

After a meteoric career that made him one of the greatest American songwriters of the 70s with songs like "Piano Man", "New York State of Mind" and "She's Always a Woman" and in the 80s with super hits like "Uptown Girl ", "We Didn't Start the Fire" and "Leningrad" reached a second peak, he released a brilliant last studio album called "River of Dreams" in 1993 and then, at the tender age of 44, largely hung up his previous rock star life on the Nail.

Financially, the extremely successful "Piano Man" had long since made it big. As Joel has since repeatedly asserted in various interviews, his surprising departure was purely for artistic reasons. In 2014, he told the New Yorker: "Some people think I'm lazy or just stubborn. But no, I think it's just that I've said everything."

And added: "If I put out an album now it would probably sell pretty well because of who I am, but that's no reason to do it. I would want it to be good. And I've seen artists on this treadmill, releasing albums year after year, and the albums get worse and worse, less and less interesting, and you think, 'Maybe you should stop.'"

In a conversation with "Welt" a few years earlier, Billy Joel had confirmed that he had not written any songs since 1993. Instead of constantly coming up with new lyrics, he concentrated on composing classic instrumental pieces. In his performance, he returned to his musical origins after two turbulent decades as a rock star. He described his relationship to rock 'n' roll in the following parable: "First I was in love with the nice girl next door. That was classical music. Then came this bitch in fishnet stockings and torn shoes who seduced me and into the distance "That was rock 'n' roll. Now that I'm older, I find the nice girl next door very sexy again."

However, the ex-pop star was not interested in developing a further career path from his rediscovered passion for classical music. In 2001 he surprised his fan base with an album called "Fantasies

Billy Joel went into rock'n'roll retirement with impressive consistency, but he didn't want to say goodbye to the big stage completely. In 2006, after a twelve-year absence, he went on tour again, where he promptly managed to fill Madison Square Garden in New York, which had a capacity of around 20,000 spectators, twelve times in a row, something no other artist had ever achieved before. Since 2014, Joel has been performing reliably once a month in the legendary concert arena to a sold-out crowd. As Billboard magazine reported, he sold 1.6 million tickets for these shows by 2023, generating revenue of over $200 million.

At the end of 2023, the singing multimillionaire announced that he wanted to end this concert series after 10 years with his 150th concert in July 2024. Shortly afterwards, he revealed to Newsday magazine that, contrary to his previous habit, he would not fly from his property on Long Island to the venue in his own helicopter for the last five concerts, but would travel by train for better grounding.

As "Page Six" reports, the "Piano Man" wants to part with his New York villa on Oyster Bay, which he has lived in since 2002, after the conclusion of his residency concert series. However, the fact that he is selling the property for around $50 million does not mean that he is leaving New York - after all, he still has another small house on Long Island. However, given his advanced age, he now wants to dedicate himself even more seriously than before to his happy retirement. "I'm just going to spend a little more time in Florida," Joel said, "like old Jewish boys from Long Island do."

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