Happy Birthday to Billy Joel, who turns 64 today (May 9th). With two recent festival shows under his belt at Australia’s Stone Music Festival and the New Orleans Jazz Fest, Billy Joel fans are waiting to see what his next move will be. Billy, who hasn’t toured since 2010, went on record as stating that he’s considering a series of full-album shows in major U.S. cities in the near future. August 10th will mark the 20th anniversary since the “Piano Man” released his last studio rock album, River Of Dreams. The album, which peaked at Number One on the Billboard 200, featured the Top Three hit — and Billy’s last Top Ten hit to date — “The River Of Dreams.”
During Billy’s exile from rock, he composed the 2001 classical album Billy Joel: Fantasies & Delusions (Music for Solo Piano) and recorded one “pop” song, the big band-inspired one-off single, “All My Life,” which was released in 2007 and produced by the late-Phil Ramone.
In early 2011, Billy made headlines when he canceled the publication of his memoir, The Book Of Joel. The completed book — co-written with former Rolling Stone writer Fred Schruers — was due to be published in June 2011 by HarperCollins. Joel sold the rights to the autobiography for $3 million and promised never-before-known anecdotes about his music and personal life — including his split from second wife Christie Brinkley, and his long battles with substance abuse.
After deciding to pull the book, Billy issued a statement to The Associated Press which read: “It took working on writing a book to make me realize that I’m not all that interested in talking about the past, and that the best expression of my life and its ups and downs has been and remains my music.”
In March 2011, Billy released the CD/DVD set Billy Joel: Live At Shea Stadium, featuring appearances by Paul McCartney, Roger Daltrey, Steven Tyler, Garth Brooks, and Tony Bennett. That November, Billy underwent successful bilateral hip replacement surgery.