How Billy Joel Achieved a Net Worth of $180 Million

Billy Joel

Billy Joel is a singer, songwriter, pianist, and composer who has become one of the best-selling solo recording artists of all time. His career in the music industry has spanned five decades, so he is a well-known name across many generations. His successful career in the music industry means that he now has an estimated net worth of $180 million, and here is how he achieved this. Born as William Martin Joel in New York on May 9, 1949, Joel’s love of music developed as a child. His mother insisted he took piano lessons, and it soon became clear that he had a natural talent. He dropped out of high school to concentrate on his music, and he was briefly a member of two bands; The Hassles and Atila.


Billy Joel began his career as a solo artist in 1971 when he released his debut album ‘Cold Spring Harbor’. Just a year later, he permed live on the radio singing ‘Captain Jack’, and this attracted the attention of Columbia records. This led to him signing a record deal with them and releasing his second album ‘Piano Man’, which included a single of the same name. The success of the single and album led to Joel earning the nickname ‘Piano Man’, which he is still known by today. He then went on to release two more reasonably successful albums, ‘Streetlife Serenade’ and ‘Turnstiles’. However, it was his fifth album ‘The Stranger’ that was his earliest commercial and critical success in 1977. The album sold more than 10 million copies, making it Columbia Records’ best-selling release. From this album, Joel had several hit singles. These included ‘She’s Always a Woman’, ‘Just the Way You Are’, ‘Only the Good Die Young’, ‘Vienna’, and ‘Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)’.

The following year, Bill Joel released his sixth album ‘52nd Street’. This was the first of his albums to reach the top spot on the Billboard 200. On the back of this success, Joel wanted to establish himself as a rock and roll artist. To do this, he released the album ‘Glass Houses’, which included ‘It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me’. This single was Joel’s first to reach the number one position on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Several other singles from his seventh album were also successful. In 1982, Joel released album number eight, which was titled ‘The Nylon Curtain’ and he changed his musical style in this album as he wanted to write melodic music with a focus on the lyrics. As he had changed his musical style over the years, Joel’s 1983 album ’An Innocent Man’ included songs inspired by different genres of music from the 1950s when he was growing up, and this showed Joel’s musical diversity. Two of his best-known and most popular songs are featured on this album; ‘The Longest Time’ and ‘Uptown Girl’.

The album ‘The Bridge’ was released in 1986, followed by ‘Storm Front’ in 1989. Both albums were critically and commercially successful. In 1993, he released his final studio album ‘River of Dreams’. However, he later released a ‘Fantasies & Delusions’ in 2001, which consisted of work that he had composed but were performed by Richard Hyung-Ki, a British-Korean pianist. Throughout his career in the music industry, Billy Joel has sold more than 150 million records. This makes him the third best selling solo artist in the United States and the sixth best-selling solo artist in the world. 33 of his singles have been top 40 hits.

He has received 23 Grammy nominations. He was presented with the Grammy Legend Award in 1990 and has also received the Johnny Mercer Award, the Recording Industry of America Diamond Award, the ASCAP Centennial Award, and The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. In 1992, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and then the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1999. Following such a successful career in the music industry, Billy Joel now has an estimated personal net worth of $180 million, says The Richest. He has made most of this money from the sales of his singles and albums, and from performing live on tours. However, this is not the only way that Billy Joel has made money as he has several business ventures.

Boating has always been one of his passions, so he decided to combine his hobby with a business venture to build a second career outside of the music industry. He partnered with Peter Needham, a Long Island businessman, to form the Long Island Boat Company in 1996. Another of his passions is motorcycles, and this was the inspiration behind his second business venture. In 2010, he opened s shop selling custom-made and retro-styled motorcycles and accessories. This shop is located in Oyster Bay, Long Island. Joel has also had links with the film industry. He provided the voice of Dodger for the 1988 Disney animation ‘Oliver & Company’. He has also written the soundtracks for several films, including ‘Honeymoon in Vegas’, ‘Easy Money’, and ‘Ruthless People’.

Final Thoughts

In his personal life, Billy Joel has been married four times. He was first married to Elizabeth Weber Small from 1973 to 1982. His second wife was the model Christie Brinkley who he married in 1985. The couple had one daughter, Alexa Ray, who was born later in the same year as their wedding. Joel and Brinkley divorced in 1994. Joel then married third wife Katie Lee, a culinary television personality, in 2004. Lee was only 23 at the time of their marriage, while Joel was 55. They divorced in 2009 and did not have children together.

Now, Joel is married to equestrian Alexis Roderick, who he wed in 2015 but he had been in a relationship since 2009. They have two daughters together; Della Rose and Remy Anne. The family lives on a large estate on Long Island, and this is where their wedding was held.

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