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Billy Joel Has Reason To Be Happy – Newsday

Right now, Billy Joel is all about the present. He’s happy to talk about his Oyster Bay motorcycle shop, 20th Century Cycles, or his upcoming master classes at colleges around the Northeast. He’s happy about being named a “Steinway Artist” later this month, becoming the first pop artist ever to be counted among the masters who have their paintings hung in Steinway Hall. He’s happy about his new boxed set, “The Complete Albums Collection” (Columbia/Legacy), and the new interpretations of his work that keep turning up successfully across pop culture, whether it’s the “Glee” kids tackling “Uptown Girl” or a British ad campaign using a version of “She’s Always a Woman” that pushed his original into the British Top 10.

Joel is even happy to learn — at Sting’s recent birthday party, no less — that Lady Gaga is a fan. (“She knows everything I’ve ever done,” he says. “She was quoting lyrics to me.” After learning that Gaga had studied his career, Joel felt honored. “That’s kinda cool — she’s very talented,” he says, before adding with a laugh, “It was very impressive that she was so knowledgeable. I impressed myself, I suppose.”)

Read the complete article, including Billy’s thoughts on recording and touring, at