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Timeline : Billy Joel

May 9, 1949

Billy Joel is born in The Bronx, New York, raised in Hicksville on Long Island.More

April 15, 1972

Billy Joel plays a concert at Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia which is broadcast by the local radio station WMMR. After the show, the station puts his performance of "Captain Jack" in rotation, and Joel builds a following. This leads to a contract with Columbia Records, which releases Joel's breakthrough album, Piano Man, in 1973.

November 9, 1973

Billy Joel releases his second album, Piano Man. The title track, based on his nights performing at a piano bar in Los Angeles called The Executive Room, becomes his first hit when it peaks at #25 in America.

April 6, 1974

Billy Joel scores his first Top 40 hit with "Piano Man," which comes in at #33 (it peaks at #25 two weeks later).

November 18, 1978

Billy Joel's 52nd Street album hits #1 in America and stays there for eight weeks.

December 14, 1978

Billy Joel plays Madison Square Garden for the first time, which growing up he considered a "temple." He later becomes the first musical act to hold residency at the Garden.

February 15, 1979

Saturday Night Fever and Billy Joel are big winners at The Grammys, with the soundtrack getting Album of the Year and "Just The Way You Are" taking Record of the Year and Song of the Year.More

June 14, 1980

Billy Joel's Glass Houses is the #1 album in America for the first of six consecutive weeks.

July 23, 1980

Billy Joel gets his first Gold record, for "It's Still Rock And Roll To Me."

September 24, 1983

Billy Joel hits #1 in America with "Tell Her About It," a song inspired by his future wife Christie Brinkley.

March 23, 1985

Billy Joel marries the "Uptown Girl" Christie Brinkley. They remain married for nine years.More

December 29, 1985

Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley have a daughter, Alexa Ray, her name a tribute to Ray Charles. She becomes a singer like her dad.

July 26, 1987

With the Cold War winding down, American export Billy Joel plays a concert in Leningrad - something that would be impossible a few years earlier. The show is released as the album KOHUEPT (Concert).

October 17, 1989

Billy Joel releases the album Storm Front, with his enduring hit "We Didn't Start The Fire."More

June 22, 1990

Billy Joel becomes the first rock act to play at Yankee Stadium when he performs at the first of two sellout shows.

June 24, 1992

Billy Joel graduates! He finally gets his high school diploma from Hicksville High School in Long Island, New York. He didn't graduate with his class in 1967 because of a missed English credit.More

August 30, 1993

Billy Joel is the first musical guest on David Letterman's first show after moving to CBS.More

August 25, 1994

Billy Joel is officially divorced from the model Christie Brinkley. Their marriage lasted nine years.

March 15, 1999

Curtis Mayfield, Del Shannon, Dusty Springfield, Paul McCartney, The Staple Singers, Billy Joel, and Bruce Springsteen are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Springsteen reunites with the E Street Band to perform at the ceremony.

April 20, 1999

At his concert at the Meadowlands in New Jersey, Billy Joel announces his retirement from touring and recording pop music, as he wants to focus on classical music. His retirement doesn't last long; he returns to the stage in December. After sitting out most of 2000, he embarks on the Face to Face tour with Elton John in 2001.

October 2, 2004

55-year-old Billy Joel marries Katie Lee, his third wife. She becomes a writer and TV personality while married to Joel, a union that lasts five years.

April 24, 2006

Billy Joel becomes the first non-athlete to earn a banner at Madison Square Garden when he sells out the venue for the 12th time on his tour. His #12 hangs alongside retired greats who played in the Garden like Willis Reed, Walt Frazier and Mark Messier.More

July 18, 2008

Billy Joel plays the "Last Play at Shea" concert - the final show before Shea Stadium is closed down. Joel is joined on stage by Paul McCartney, Garth Brooks, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, and The Who's Roger Daltrey.More

January 27, 2014

Billy Joel begins his residency at Madison Square Garden, where he plays once a month as long as there is demand.More

August 12, 2015

66-year-old Billy Joel becomes a father for the second time when his fourth wife, Alexis, gives birth to a baby girl, Della Rose.

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