Billy Joel Timeline
|1949||William Martin Joel is born in the Bronx, NY. on May 9. The family moves to the Levittown section of Hicksville on Long Island where he spends his childhood and young adult years.|
|1953||Begins studying piano.|
|1963||Joins his first band, The Echoes, later known as The Lost Souls.|
|1967||Joins The Hassles, a Long Island-based band, and records the The Hassles, the first of two albums for United Artists,.|
|1968||The Hassles record their second album Hour of the Wolf.|
|1970||Forms Attila, a heavy metal duo with Hassles’ drummer, Jon Small. Attila records one album on Epic Records.|
|1971||Signs a solo recording contract and releases his first album, Cold Spring Harbor.
Commences a world tour with his band to promote Cold Spring Harbor.
Disappears to the West Coast as a result of a contractual dispute, where he performs in piano bars under the name Bill Martin.
|1972||WMMR-FM, a radio station in Philadelphia, starts playing a tape of a new song, ‘Captain Jack,’ taken from a live concert broadcast.
Although he does his best to keep a low profile in Los Angeles, the notoriety of ‘Captain Jack’ prompts Columbia Records to track him down and offer him a recording contract.
|1973||He is signed to Columbia Records by the legendary Clive Davis and records the album Piano Man in Los Angeles.|
|1974||The song ‘Piano Man’ becomes his first top 20 single & first gold album.|
|1975||Records Streetlife Serenade in Los Angeles. The album garners the first of many music industry awards to come, including a Cashbox award for Best New Male Vocalist.
Begins to gather recognition as a live concert attraction as a result of extensive touring, culminating in a sell-out concert performance at New York City’s famed Carnegie Hall
|1976||Returns to New York, assembles a new band and records Turnstiles. Embarks on his first headline concert tour.|
|1977||Writes, records and releases The Stranger, his first collaboration with producer Phil Ramone. From the time of its release in 1977 until 1985, The Stranger is Columbia Records’ biggest selling album|
|1978||The song ‘Just the Way You Are’ captures two Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.
Releases 52nd St. which becomes his first #1 album.
|1979||Travels to Cuba for Havana Jam, an historic three day event at the Karl Marx Theater.
Headlines a benefit concert for the Long Island based Charity Begins At Home.
|1980||Glass Houses reaches #1 on the Billboard Album Chart and remains there for six weeks. ‘It’s Still Rock N Roll to Me’ becomes his first #1 single.
Receives an American Music Award for Album of the Year.
|1981||Wins Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male at the 1981 Grammy Awards, as well as a People’s Choice Award for Favorite Male Pop Performer.
Releases a live album, Songs in the Attic, which becomes his fourth consecutive top ten album.
|1982||Sustains serious injury to both hands in a motorcycle accident while recording the The Nylon Curtain. After a two month recovery period, the album is completed. The Nylon Curtain reaches #7 on the Billboard Album Chart and earns a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year.|
|1983||Writes and records the album An Innocent Man which reaches #4 on the Billboard charts and is nominated for a Grammy Award for Album of the Year. The album generates six Top 40 singles, three of which make it to the Top 10, including ‘Uptown Girl’ which receives a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male.
Columbia Records re-releases Cold Spring Harbor.
|1985||Greatest Hits Volume I and Volume II is released and becomes his seventh consecutive top 10 album. ‘You’re Only Human (Second Wind)’ becomes his eighth Top 10 single.
Joins fellow musicians John Mellencamp and Randy Newman for Farm Aid I, and participates in USA For Africa.
Marries model Christie Brinkley. Their daughter Alexa Ray is born at the end of the year.
The Bridge album is released featuring collaborations with Ray Charles, Cyndi Lauper, and Steve Winwood.
|1987||Becomes the first U.S. pop star to bring a full rock production to the Soviet Union. He performs in Moscow and in Leningrad. The two-disc live album Kohuept (the Russian word for concert) is released in October.|
|1988||Performs at Radio City Music Hall with Hall & Oates and Cyndi Lauper at a concert to benefit the New York Police Athletic League.|
|1989||Begins working with Producer Mick Jones and records Storm Front. The first single ‘We Didn’t Start The Fire’ reaches #1 on Billboard singles charts.
Storm Front receives Grammy nominations for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male and Producer of the Year. ‘We Didn’t Start The Fire’ receives nominations for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male.
|1991||Presented with the Grammy Legend Award.
Performs The Concert for the Bays and the Baymen at the Jones Beach Amphitheater to benefit marine-related groups.
|1991||Performs two USO concerts in the Philippines at Clark Air Force Base and Subic Naval Base during the Persian Gulf War.
Headlines Back At the Ranch, a concert to benefit Long Island environmental groups and joins Don Henley and Sting at Madision Square Garden atThe Concert for Walden Woods.
|1993||Records River Of Dreams which debuts at #1 on the Billboard Album Chart. The single ‘The River of Dreams’ also debuts at #1 on Billboard Hot 100 Chart where it stays for three weeks. In addition,the single spends 12 weeks at #1 on the Adult Contemporary Chart, setting a new record.
Joins a star-studded cast for a performance to benefit AIDS Project Los Angeles.
|1994||Receives four Grammy nominations including Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male for the song ‘The River of Dreams’ and Album of the Year for River of Dreams.
Teams up with Elton John for an historic summer stadium tour of the U.S.
Marriage to Christie Brinkley ends.
The RIAA certifies Songs in the Attic and The Nylon Curtain for sales of 2 million units which moves him into a tie with the Beatles as the act with the most multiplatinum albums.
Presented with the Billboard Century Award.
|1995||Experiences the disastrous Kobe earthquake while on tour in Japan. Donates proceeds from two concerts in Osaka to local earthquake relief efforts.
Performs with Sting and others at the Rainforest Benefit Concert at Carnegie Hall.
|1996||Hits the college lecture circuit with “An Evening of Questions, Answers…and a Little Music.” He speaks at 32 different schools.
Starts The Long Island Boat Company to build the Shelter Island Runabout 38’, a classic powerboat designed by Joel. By 1999, 20 boats are sold.
|1997||Releases Greatest Hits Volume III.
Presented with the prestigious ASCAP’s Founder’s Award for lifetime achievement.
|1998||Commences a solo tour of the United States and Canada, and reprises the ‘Face to Face’ tour with Elton John in Japan and Australia.Performs with Sting and others at the Rainforest Benefit Concert at Carnegie Hall.|
|1999||Presented with the American Music Awards’ Award of Merit.
Worldwide sales top the 100 million unit mark.
Reunites with Sting and others at the Rainforest Benefit Concert at Carnegie Hall.
Received the RIAA Diamond Award for Greatest Hits Volume I and Volume II. The Diamond Award is presented for albums that have sold over 10 million copies. Greatest Hits Volume I and II is the highest certified greatest hits album by a male artist with over 20 million albums sold.
Ray Charles inducts Billy Joel into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
|2000||Presented with The James Smithson Bicentennial Medal from The Smithsonian Institution.
Releases Billy Joel 2000 Years – The Millenium Concert.
Received an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Long Island University – Southampton College.
Friday, June 16 attends a press conference with the President of the United States, Bill Clinton, and John Sykes (VH1) for Save The Music to donate musical instruments in an effort to restore music programs in the New York City Public Schools. College.
Sings the National Anthem on October 21 at Yankee Stadium for the opening game of the New York Yankees 2000 Baseball World Series (Subway Series) versus the New York Mets.
Performs “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” in December at Madison Square Garden with Elton John for Elton’s TV special One Night Only.
|2001||Joins forces with Elton John to kickoff the Face to Face 2001 Tour beginning in San Diego, CA on January 19, 2001.
On June 14, Billy is awarded the Johnny Mercer Award at the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame Dinner in New York City.
On September 21, Billy Joel performed “New York State of Mind” on the America: A Tribute To Heroes special that aired on 31 networks simultaneously.
|2002||Billy Joel is named Music Cares Person of the Year 2002.
Movin’ Out opens on October 24.Billy Joel and Toots Thielemans perform at the Blue Note on October 29.
|2007||Billy Joel performs the National Anthem at Super Bowl XLI .
Columbia Records releases “All My Life,” the long-awaited new pop single from the iconic singer/songwriter/performer Billy Joel. “All My Life” is Billy’s first new pop music since his 5x platinum Grammy-nominated album, River of Dreams, was released in 1993.
|1978||Record of the Year||Just the Way You Are (song)|
|1978||Song of the Year||Just the Way You Are (song)|
|1979||Album of the Year||52nd Street (album)|
|1979||Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male||52nd Street (album)|
|1980||Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male||Glass Houses (album)|
|1979||Song of the Year||Honesty|
|1980||Album of the Year||Glass Houses|
|1982||Album of the Year||The Nylon Curtain|
|1983||Album of the Year||An Innocent Man|
|1983||Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male||Uptown Girl (single)|
|1984||Best Video Album||Billy Joel Live From Long Island|
|1989||Record of the Year||We Didn’t Start The Fire|
|1989||Song of the Year||We Didn’t Start The Fire|
|1989||Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male||We Didn’t Start The Fire (song)|
|1990||Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male||Storm Front (album)|
|1990||Producer of the Year||Storm Front (album)|
|1991||Best Long Form Video||Live At Yankee Stadium|
|1991||Best Short Form Video||When You Wish Upon A Star (from the|
|1993||Album of the Year||River of Dreams|
|1993||Record of the Year||The River of Dreams|
|1993||Song of the Year||The River of Dreams|
|1993||Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male||The River of Dreams|
|2002||Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals||New York State of Mind – Tony Bennett and Billy Joel|
Other Awards and Honors:
|1975||Cashbox award for Best New Male Vocalist for Streetlife Serenade.|
|1980||American Music Award Album of the Year for Glass Houses|
|1980||Handi Cap (Humanitarian Award)|
|1981||People’s Choice Award – Favorite Male Pop Performer|
|1981||The Rehabilitation Institute (Humanitarian Award)|
|1984||Cable ACE Award – Best Actor in A Comedy or Musical for “A Television First, Billy Joel”|
|1987||Cable ACE Award for Best Music Special “Live From Leningrad”|
|1987||Best Performance in A Music Special for “Live From Leningrad”|
|1990||International Rock Awards (“The Elvis”) for M.V.P. Keyboard|
|1990||Cathedral of St. John the Divine (Humanitarian Award)|
|1991||Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters – Fairfield University|
|1991||Town of Huntington proclaims “Billy Joel Park”|
|1991||Make-A-Wish Foundation – Honorary Chairman Washington, DC Chapter|
|1992||Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame|
|1993||Honorary Doctorate – Berklee College of Music|
|1993||NARM President’s Award|
|1994||Billboard Century Award|
|1997||ASCAP Founders Award|
|1997||Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters – Hofstra University|
|1999||American Music Awards – Award of Merit|
|1999||RIAA Diamond Award|
|1999||Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction|
|2000||James Smithson Bicentennial Medal of Honor|
|2000||Honorary Doctorate of Music – Long Island University, Southampton College|
|2001||Johnny Mercer Award – Songwriters Hall Of Fame|
|2002||Music Cares Person of the Year|
Albums achieving RIAA Platinum Status
(sales of 1,000,000 units, U.S. only)
|The Essential||2x Platinum|
|Piano Man||4x Platinum|
|Streetlife Serenade||1x Platinum|
|The Stranger||9x Platinum|
|52nd Street||7x Platinum|
|Glass Houses||7x Platinum|
|Songs In The Attic||3x Platinum|
|An Innocent Man||7x Platinum|
|Greatest Hits Volume I and Volume II||20x Platinum|
|The Bridge||2x Platinum|
|Storm Front||4x Platinum|
|River of Dreams||5x Platinum|
|Greatest Hits Volume III||1x Platinum|
|Complete Hits Collection||1x Platinum|
Singles achieving RIAA Platinum Status:
|It’s Still Rock and Roll To Me|
Singles achieving RIAA Gold Status
(sales of 500,000 units, U.S. only)
|Just The Way You Are|
|We Didn’t Start The Fire|
|Tell Her About It|