Tagged with "joe"
Billy Joel is Ultimate Rock Classic! Tags: billy joel ultimat rock classic word life production new qulaity entrtainment

Singer Billy Joel topped the charts in the 1970s and '80s with hits like "Piano Man," "Uptown Girl" and "We Didn't Start the Fire."

Born on May 9, 1949, in New York, Billy Joel bounced back after a disappointing first album, Cold Spring Harbor (1971), with 1973's Piano Man, featuring hits like "Piano Man" and "Captain Jack." He went on to make successful albums like Streetlife Serenade (1974), The Stranger (1977) and 52nd Street (1978). In the 1980s, Joel married supermodel Christie Brinkley, and topped the musical charts with "Uptown Girl" and "We Didn't Start the Fire." By 1999, his worldwide song sales had topped $100 million, and he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Several years later, in 2013, he received the Kennedy Center Honors.

Early Life

Singer-songwriter William Martin "Billy" Joel was born in the Bronx, New York, on May 9, 1949, to Howard and Rosalind Joel. Shortly after he was born, the family moved to a section of America's famous "first suburb," Levittown on Long Island. Although his father was an accomplished classical pianist, it was Joel's mother who pushed the young boy to study piano. He began playing at the age of four and showed an immediate aptitude for the instrument. By the time he was 16, Billy Joel was already a pro, having joined his third band before he could drive.

Early Career

It wasn't long before the artist, inspired by the Beatles' iconic Ed Sullivan Show performance, committed heart and soul to a life in music. He dropped out of high school to pursue a performing career, devoting himself to creating his first solo album Cold Spring Harbor, which was released in 1971. The terms of Joel's contract with Family Productions turned out to be onerous and the artist was unhappy with the quality of the album they released. It wasn't a commercial success.

Disillusioned with trying to make it as a rock star, Joel moved to Los Angeles to fly under the radar for a while. In early 1972, he got a gig working as a lounge pianist under the pseudonym Bill Martin. His time playing at The Executive Room on Wilshire Boulevard would later be immortalized in his song "Piano Man," which describes a no-name lounge's down-and-out patrons.

By late 1972, an underground recording of Joel's "Captain Jack" had been released on the East Coast and was garnering positive attention. Executives from Columbia Records sought out the lounge player and gave Joel a second chance to become a rock star.

Career Breakthrough

With the momentum of a Top 20 single ("Piano Man") to his name, Joel began recording new songs and albums, coming out with Streetlife Serenade in 1974. Many of his songs related to a growing frustration with the music industry and Hollywood, foreshadowing his exit from Los Angeles in 1976. As the years passed, Joel's style began to evolve, showing his range from pop to the bluesy-jazz stylings that are now closely associated with his name. The Stranger (1977) was Joel's first major commercial breakthrough, landing him four songs in the Top 25 of the U.S. Billboard charts. By 1981, Joel had collected a slew of awards, including a Grammy for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance and a People's Choice Award.

Awards and Achievements

Through the 1980s, Joel would be crowned a hit-maker with smashes such as "Tell Her About It," "Uptown Girl," "Innocent Man" and "The Longest Time." He would release two volumes of Greatest Hits and become the first American performer to unleash a full-scale rock production in the Soviet Union. While churning out hits, Joel would also frequent the benefit circuit, performing with stars such as Cyndi Lauper and John Mellencamp to raise money for various causes.

In 1989, on the heels of the successful single "We Didn't Start the Fire," Joel was presented with the Grammy Legend Award. His professional success continued unabated into the early 1990s, although his personal life became somewhat dramatic. After the release of River of Dreams (1994), Joel slowed his studio recordings but continued to tour alone and in combination with fellow artists such as Elton John. In 1999, the worldwide sales of his songs passed the 100 million mark. Also that year, Joel was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by his idol, Ray Charles. Several years later, in 2013, Joel received the Kennedy Center Honors.

Later Career

In the early 2000s, Joel found himself in and out of rehab, struggling with an ongoing alcohol addiction. In 2007, Joel released the single "All My Life," his first song with original lyrics in 13 years. Though semi-retired in terms of recording new pop songs, Joel has continued to tour and branch out as an artist. He has composed a number of classical songs and even reworked older ballads with an orchestral backing.

Throughout the years, Joel's songs have acted as personal and cultural touchstones for millions of people, mirroring his own goal of writing songs that "meant something during the time in which I lived... and transcended that time."

When Joel's residency at Madison Square Garden was announced in 2013, his devoted fans proved how much the singer's music resonated with them. As the first music franchise in MSG's history, Joel broke records; his monthly concerts have sold out every time, and as of October 2015, he has grossed over $46 million in sales.

Personal Life

In 1982, Joel split with his first wife, Elizabeth Weber Small, who had been his partner since 1973. In 1984, Joel would famously meet and marry supermodel Christie Brinkley. Soon after, their daughter Alexa Ray (named after Ray Charles) was born on December 29, 1985.

Joel divorced Brinkley in 1993. In 2004, he married the television personality and journalist Katie Lee. They would eventually divorce after five years of marriage.

In 2015, Billy Joel and his girlfriend of six years, Alexis Roderick, announced they were expecting a baby together. That summer, Joel and Roderick tied the knot at the couple's annual Fourth of July party at his Long Island estate. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo presided over the nuptials. Their daughter Della Rose Joel was born on August 12, 2015.

Source: Biography.com

The Golden Era and Beyond - Fat Joe
Category: The Golden Era
Tags: golden era beyond fat joe word life production new quality entertainment

Joseph Antonio Cartagena (born August 19, 1970), better known by his stage name Fat Joe, is an American rapper. He is also the CEO of Terror Squad Entertainment, and member of musical groups D.I.T.C. and Terror Squad.

Fat Joe's debut album was Represent, released in 1993, followed by Jealous One's Envy in 1995. From 1998 to 2006, he was signed to Atlantic Records, releasing four albums under the label, Don Cartagena in 1998, Jealous Ones Still Envy (J.O.S.E.) in 2001, Loyalty in 2002, and All or Nothing in 2005. Around the release of All or Nothing, Fat Joe became involved in a highly publicized feud with another New York City-based rapper 50 Cent, who attacked Fat Joe in his song "Piggy Bank". His most popular song in which he performed was his Remy Ma duet "Lean Back" with Terror Squad. The song was a number-one hit in the summer of 2004.

Starting in 2006, when his album Me, Myself, & I was released, Fat Joe was signed to Imperial Records, which distributes through Terror Squad Entertainment. His follow up album was The Elephant in the Room, which was released in 2008; Jealous Ones Still Envy 2 (J.O.S.E. 2), the sequel to Jealous Ones Still Envy (J.O.S.E.), was released in October 2009. His tenth album The Darkside Vol. 1 was released on July 27, 2010.

Fat Joe was born on August 19, 1970 in the South Bronx area of New York City, where he was raised by parents of Puerto Rican and Cuban descent. He lived in public housing and began stealing at a young age to support his family. He also admits that he was a bully in his childhood. His brother introduced him to rap music. As a teenager, he was highly influenced by fellow Latino rapper Big Pun. Fat Joe explained the rapper's influence on him by saying "Latinos before us who had the opportunity to do it just didn't know how to do it. They came in trying to do this black music, waving flags. [But] we're trying to kick in the doors for other Latinos and represent our people, and it shows."

Under stage name Fat Joe da Gangsta and part of the Diggin' in the Crates (D.I.T.C.) rap group, Cartagena was signed to Relativity Records in the early 1990s, recording material and working with many artists who he would later sign to his own label. In 1993, his debut album, Represent, was released, featuring production from The Beatnuts, Diamond D, Lord Finesse, and others. Its lead single, "Flow Joe" peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot Rap Singles chart; other minor singles from the album included "Watch the Sound" and "This poo is Real".

In 1995, Fat Joe released his second studio album, Jealous One's Envy, which peaked at #71 on The Billboard 200 and at #7 on Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums. The album featured a guest appearance from KRS-One and production from Diamond D. The lead single was Success, which did not chart, but his second single, "Envy" peaked at #8 on the Hot Rap Tracks chart. The success of this album led Fat Joe to be featured on the remix of LL Cool J's single "I Shot Ya" along with Foxy Brown, Keith Murray and Prodigy of Mobb Deep.

Released in 1998, Don Cartagena was Joe's third album and his first for Atlantic Records. It peaked on The Billboard 200 at #7 and #2 on Top R&B/Hip Hop albums, eventually being certified gold by the RIAA.

The album featured two hit singles "Bet Ya Man Can't Triz", and "Don Cartagena". Guest appearances included Nas, Diddy, Big Pun, Raekwon, Jadakiss, and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Within the album, Fat Joe debuted his own group Terror Squad that consisted of the late Big Pun, as well as Cuban Link, Triple Seis, Prospect, Armageddon and later Remy Ma. Joe himself acknowledged, in an interview with HipHopGame.com, that he has received criticism for releasing only one solo album by a former Terror Squad member, Remy Ma, as well as barely featuring original members Prospect and Armageddon on "True Story." Terror Squad singer Tony Sunshine has had possible album release dates pushed back over three years, and Joe had stated that artists Prospect and Armageddon have not released solo albums yet as the result of them being "really lazy". Former Terror Squad member Triple Seis also went on record when asked who had written Fat Joe's lyrics, stating that he and Pun were Joe's ghostwriters, and asserts that Joe continues to hire ghostwriters. In 1999, he appeared on Jennifer Lopez's single "Feelin' So Good" from her On the 6 album with late rapper Big Pun.

Fat Joe released his fourth album Jealous Ones Still Envy (J.O.S.E.) in 2001, featuring production from the then-popular Irv Gotti. The album featured a star-studded lineup from the likes of Ashanti, Ja Rule, N.O.R.E., Busta Rhymes, Petey Pablo, M.O.P., Ludacris, R. Kelly, Buju Banton, and artists from his Terror Squad label. The lead single "We Thuggin'" featuring R. Kelly was a big hit in late 2001, but would not reach the level of the Irv Gotti-produced "What's Luv?" which was a massive hit in early 2002 and featured The Inc. superstars Ja Rule and Ashanti. The album was Fat Joe's biggest hit as it was successful from its January release all the way into May, being certified platinum. However, Fat Joe's fifth album Loyalty, released later in 2002 and featuring production from Irv Gotti, was not as successful.

In 2003, Fat Joe was featured in the pop single "I Want You" by Mexican singer Thalía. The same year, he and Tony Sunshine performed the single "Crush Tonight" from Loyalty on the Comedy Central program Chappelle's Show, hosted by comedian Dave Chappelle.

Despite the setback, Fat Joe scored a number-one hit in 2004 with his group Terror Squad, collaborating with Remy Ma on the Scott Storch production "Lean Back" from the album True Story. The song was criticized twice by conservative columnist L. Brent Bozell III for its extensive use of obscenity. However, Jason Birchmeier of Allmusic called the song "a perfect club-ready duet between Joe and Remy Ma that boasts a trademark Scott Storch beat and a memorable singalong hook and dance-along step". He then began recording material for Ivy Queen's debut English-language album Real in support of her goal to compete in the world of English-language hip hop music.

A year later, in 2005, Fat Joe released his sixth album All or Nothing, noted for featuring the popular diss track "My Fofo", aimed at fellow New York rapper 50 Cent, who had dissed Joe for recording with Ja Rule. All or Nothing spawned the singles "So Much More" and "Get It Poppin" featuring Nelly, also with guest appearances from Eminem, Mase, Remy Ma, Mashonda, and R. Kelly. Responding to "My Fofo", 50 Cent attacked Fat Joe in his song "Piggy Bank" from his best-selling 2005 album The Massacre. Fat Joe subsequently attacked 50s street credibility and called him a "coward" on a phone interview with Kay Slay of New York City hip-hop radio station WQHT. The conflict carried on at the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards, while Fat Joe introduced the reggaeton act featuring Daddy Yankee, Joe remarked, "I feel safe with all the police protection—courtesy of G-Unit." Shortly after, when MTV switched to a commercial break, 50 Cent directed an obscenity at Joe, and 50 Cent jumped on stage as Fat Joe was leaving.

Me, Myself & I, released in 2006, is Fat Joe's seventh album. It was his first album released on his new deal with Virgin Records. It featured the hit single "Make It Rain" with southern rapper Lil Wayne, followed by "No Drama (Clap and Revolve)". Fat Joe did a freestyle cipher segment for VH1's "Freestyle 59" competition in October 2006 prior to the VH1 Hip Hop Honors featuring New Jersey emcee Neuse.

In June 2007, the Reverend Michael Pfleger targeted Fat Joe as among several rappers he believed promoted misogyny in his billboard campaign "Stop Listening to Trash", which was launched June 18, 2007 throughout Chicago, Illinois, where Pfleger preaches. Also that month, Fat Joe was featured in the DJ Khaled singles "We Takin' Over" alongside Akon, T.I., Rick Ross, Birdman, and Lil Wayne and the remix to Khaled's "I'm So Hood" with Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy, Rick Ross, Busta Rhymes, Big Boi, Ludacris, and Birdman. Verbal disputes between Fat Joe and 50 Cent continued during this time period: in September 2007, on the BET program Rap City, 50 Cent accused Fat Joe of being cowardly for not willing to confront him, but Fat Joe dismissed this claim as nonsense. Later in January, 50 Cent released another Fat Joe diss, called "Southside Nigga (I'm Leaving)". At the end of January 2008, Fat Joe and his longtime accountant Brian Dittrich both denied rumors spreading on the Internet that Fat Joe owed the IRS in taxes.

On March 20, 2008, shortly after record sales were released for Fat Joe's new album The Elephant in the Room, 50 Cent released a video via his YouTube account, which features the "funeral" of Fat Joe, which shows 50 Cent crying in the fake footage. 50 Cent then talks about Fat Joe's record sales, and states that he ended Fat Joe's career (like he says he did to Ja Rule's) and that his mixtape blew out Fat Joe's album.

Fat Joe's ninth solo studio album, J.O.S.E. 2, was released towards the end of June 2009.The project reprises the title of Joe’s 2002 RIAA-Certified Platinum release, Jealous Ones Still Envy (J.O.S.E.), and marked Joe’s third release since bringing his Terror Squad imprint to the EMI family in 2006. For this album, Joe has reached out to many artists, landing assists from Ron Browz, Fabolous, Lil' Kim, T-Pain, Lil Wayne, and Akon. Producers include Jim Jonsin, The Inkredibles, and frequent collaborator StreetRunner. "One", featuring Akon, was the first single. The album was released on October 6, 2009 and sold 11,000 copies in its first week. It debuted on The Billboard 200 at #73.

In January 2010, Fat Joe announced that he was working on a new album, The Darkside Vol. 1. MTV News reported that Fat Joe intended "all the material...to be much harsher" than his previous album. Production comes from The Alchemist, Cool & Dre, Streetrunner, DJ Premier, Scoop DeVille, Just Blaze, Scram Jones, Raw Uncut and DJ Infamous with guest appearances by Busta Rhymes, Trey Songz, Lil Wayne, R. Kelly, Clipse, Cam'ron, Rico Love, Too $hort, TA and Young Jeezy. The first single from The Darkside Vol. 1 is "(Ha Ha) Slow Down," which features Young Jeezy. The second single off the album is "If It Ain't About Money" and features Trey Songz.

On March 28, 2010 Fat Joe signed a record deal with E1 Music. The Darkside Vol. 1 was released on July 27, 2010 and sold approximately 12,000 copies in the first week and entered the Billboard 200 at #27.

On August 6, 2010 Fat Joe was interviewed on MTV RapFix Live by Sway. Fat Joe announced in the interview that he planned to record 2 more volumes of The Darkside and then retire.

Joe was featured on a remix to DJ Khaled's song "Welcome to My Hood", which also features Ludacris, T-Pain, Busta Rhymes, Twista, Mavado, Birdman, Ace Hood, Game, Jadakiss, Bun B and Waka Flocka Flame. It is included as the final track on Khaled's fifth studio album We the Best Forever.

In January 2010, Fat Joe announced that he was working on a new album, The Darkside Vol. 1. MTV News reported that Fat Joe intended "all the material...to be much harsher" than his previous album. Production comes from The Alchemist, Cool & Dre, Streetrunner, DJ Premier, Scoop DeVille, Just Blaze, Scram Jones, Raw Uncut and DJ Infamous with guest appearances by Busta Rhymes, Trey Songz, Lil Wayne, R. Kelly, Clipse, Cam'ron, Rico Love, Too $hort, TA and Young Jeezy. The first single from The Darkside Vol. 1 is "(Ha Ha) Slow Down," which features Young Jeezy. The second single off the album is "If It Ain't About Money" and features Trey Songz.

On March 28, 2010 Fat Joe signed a record deal with E1 Music.[38][39] The Darkside Vol. 1 was released on July 27, 2010 and sold approximately 12,000 copies in the first week and entered the Billboard 200 at #27.

On August 6, 2010 Fat Joe was interviewed on MTV RapFix Live by Sway. Fat Joe announced in the interview that he planned to record 2 more volumes of The Darkside and then retire.

Joe was featured on a remix to DJ Khaled's song "Welcome to My Hood", which also features Ludacris, T-Pain, Busta Rhymes, Twista, Mavado, Birdman, Ace Hood, Game, Jadakiss, Bun B and Waka Flocka Flame. It is included as the final track on Khaled's fifth studio album We the Best Forever.

In an interview with XXL Magazine on September 21, 2011 Fat Joe stated The Darkside Vol. 2 is going to be his first ever official mixtape and will feature the Mark Henry produced songs "Massacre on Madison" and "Drop a Body", both of which were released earlier in the year. Joe went on to say he is also working on an album which is yet to be named but the first single is called "Another Round" produced by Cool and Dre and Young Lad and features Chris Brown.

On October 19, 2011 Another Round the first single off Joe's yet to be named eleventh studio album was released on iTunes. The second single released from the album is "Yellow Tape" which features Lil Wayne, ASAP Rocky and French Montana. In September 2012, Joe featured in Grammy awards winner Alejandro Sanz's new album, La Música No Se Toca in a music named Down. Joe would then release another single, "Ballin'" on March 18, 2013. The song features Wiz Khalifa and Teyana Taylor.

Via Hiphop Wired, Fat Joe revealed that he and Remy Ma are releasing a joint album. He said "Me and Remy just wrapped up a new album. Just me and Remy. I’m super excited about that. The album is ridiculous. So we’ve been working musically like crazy. ” He reported the first single would be “All The Way Up” and will feature French Montana. They have shot the video and it was released on February 3, 2016.[44] Fat Joe could not explain what the album would be called saying :"I have the title, but we’re trying to see if we can legally use the title."

Source: Wikipedia

Ultimate Rock Classic - Billy Joel Tags: ultimate rock classic billy joel word life production new qulaity entertainment

Artist Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Although Billy Joel never was a critic's favorite, the pianist emerged as one of the most popular singer/songwriters of the latter half of the '70s. Joel's music consistently demonstrates an affection for Beatlesque hooks and a flair for Tin Pan Alley and Broadway melodies. His fusion of two distinct eras made him a superstar in the late '70s and '80s, as he racked an impressive string of multi-platinum albums and hit singles.

Born in the Bronx, Joel was raised in the Long Island suburb of Hicksville, where he learned to play piano as a child. As he approached his adolescence, Joel started to rebel, joining teenage street gangs and boxing as welterweight. He fought a total of 22 fights as a teenager, and during one of the fights, he broke his nose. For the early years of his adolescence, he divided his time between studying piano and fighting. Upon seeing the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, Joel decided to pursue a full-time musical career and set about finding a local Long Island band to join. Eventually, he found the Echoes, a group that specialized in British Invasion covers. The Echoes became a popular New York attraction, convincing him to quit high school to become a professional musician.

While still a member of the Echoes, Joel began playing recording sessions in 1965, when he was just 16 years old. Joel played piano on several recordings George "Shadow" Morton produced -- including the Shangri-Las' "Leader of the Pack" -- as well as several records released through Kama Sutra Productions. During this time, the Echoes started to play numerous late-night shows.

Attila

Later in 1965, the Echoes changed their name twice -- once to the Emeralds and finally to the Lost Souls. For two years, he played sessions and performed with the Lost Souls. In 1967, he left the band to join the Hassles, a local Long Island rock & roll band that had signed a contract with United Artists Records. Over the next year and a half, the Hassles released two albums and four singles, all of which failed commercially. In 1969, the Hassles broke up. Joel and the band's drummer, Jon Small, formed an organ-and-drums duo called Attila. In Attila, Joel played his organ through a variety of effects pedals, creating a heavy psychedelic hard rock album completely without guitars. On the cover of the band's eponymous album, both Joel and Small were dressed as barbarians; in an interview on the back of the album, Joel claimed to forget the name of his previous band and stated that he only "sweated" two things -- perfecting his sound and the war in Southeast Asia. Epic released Attila early in 1970 and it was an immediate bomb and the duo broke up. While the group was still together, Joel began a romance with Small's wife, Elizabeth; she would eventually leave the drummer to marry the pianist.

After Attila's embarrassing failure, Joel wrote rock criticism for a magazine called Changes and played on commercial jingles, including a Chubby Checker spot for Bachman Pretzels. However, Joel entered a severe bout of depression, culminating with him drinking a bottle of furniture polish in an attempt to end his life. Following his failed suicide attempt, Joel checked himself into Meadowbrook Hospital, where he received psychiatric treatment for depression.

Cold Spring Harbor

Joel returned to playing music in 1971, signing a deal with Family Productions. Under the terms of the contract, Joel signed to the label for life; the pianist was unaware of the clause at the time, but it would come back to haunt him -- Family Productions received royalties from every album Joel sold until the late '80s. Joel refashioned himself as a sensitive singer/songwriter for his debut album, Cold Spring Harbor, which was released in November of 1971. Due to an error in the mastering of the album, Cold Spring Harbor was released a couple of tape speeds too fast; the album remained in that bastardized form until 1984. Following the release of the album, Joel went on a small live tour, during which he would frequently delve into standup comedy. The tour received good reviews but Joel remained unhappy with the quality of his performance and, especially, the quality of the album. Furthermore, he lost a manager during this time and Family Productions was experiencing legal and financial difficulties, which prevented him from recording an immediate follow-up.

Early in 1972, he moved out to Los Angeles with his girlfriend Elizabeth. Joel adopted the name Bill Martin and spent half a year playing lounge piano at the Executive Room. Toward the end of the year, he began touring, playing various nightclubs across the country. At the beginning of 1973, Joel married Elizabeth Weber and she enrolled at UCLA's Graduate School of Management. Around the same time, a radio station began playing a live version of "Captain Jack" that was recorded at a Philadelphia radio broadcast. Soon, record companies were eagerly seeking to sign the pianist, and he eventually signed with Columbia Records. In order for Joel to sign with Columbia, the major label had to agree to pay Family Productions 25 cents for each album sold, plus display the Family and Remus logos on each record Joel released.

Piano Man

By the end of 1973, Billy Joel's first album for Columbia Records, Piano Man, had been released. The record slowly worked its way up the charts, peaking at number 27 in the spring of 1974. The title track -- culled from experiences he had while singing at the Executive Room -- became a Top 40 hit single. At the end of the summer, Joel assembled a touring band and undertook a national tour, opening for acts like the J. Geils Band and the Doobie Brothers. By the end of 1974, he had released his second album, Streetlife Serenade, which reached number 35 early in 1975. After its success, Joel signed a contract with James William Guercio and Larry Fitzgerald's management company, Caribou, and moved from California to New York. Through songs like "Say Goodbye to Hollywood" and "New York State of Mind," Joel celebrated the move on his 1976 album, Turnstiles. The sessions for Turnstiles were long and filled with tension, culminating with Joel firing the album's original producer, Guercio, and producing the album himself. Once he fired Guercio, Joel also left Caribou, and hired his wife as his new manager.

The Stranger

Turnstiles stalled on the charts, only reaching number 122. Joel's next album would prove to be the make-or-break point for his career, and the resulting album, The Stranger, catapulted him into superstardom. The Stranger was released in the fall of 1977. By the end of the year, it peaked at number two and had gone platinum, and within the course of a year, it would spawn the Top 40 singles "Just the Way You Are" (which would win the 1978 Grammy for Record of the Year and Song of the Year), "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)," "She's Always a Woman," and "Only the Good Die Young." Over the next two decades, the album would sell over seven million copies. Joel followed The Stranger with 52nd Street, which was released in the fall of 1978. 52nd Street spent eight weeks at number one in the U.S., selling over two million copies within the first month of its release. The album spawned the hit singles "My Life," "Big Shot," and "Honesty," and won the 1979 Grammy award for Album of the Year. Although he had become a genuine star, critics had not looked kindly upon Joel's music, and the pianist became a vocal opponent of rock criticism in the late '70s. In one incident, he denounced Los Angeles Herald Examiner critic Ken Tucker on-stage and then, as a form of protest, tore up the critic's reviews.

Glass Houses

In the spring of 1980, Joel released Glass Houses, theoretically a harder-edged album that was a response to the punk and new wave movement. Glass Houses reached number one in America, where it stayed for six weeks; the album spawned the Top 40 singles "You May Be Right" (number seven), "It's Still Rock'n'Roll to Me" (number one), "Don't Ask Me Why" (number 19), and "Sometimes a Fantasy" (number 36) and won the 1980 Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male. In the fall of 1981, Joel released Songs in the Attic, a live album that concentrated on material written and recorded before he became a star in 1977. The album's "Say Goodbye to Hollywood" and "She's Got a Way" became Top 40 hits.

The Nylon Curtain

Songs in the Attic bought Joel some time as he was completing an album he had designed as his bid to be taken seriously as a composer. Before the album was finished, he suffered a serious motorcycle accident in the spring of 1982. He broke his wrist in the accident -- it would take major surgery to repair the wound. In July of 1982, Joel divorced his wife, Elizabeth. His new album, The Nylon Curtain, was finally released in the fall. A concept album about baby boomers and their experiences, the album was a commercial disappointment, only selling a million copies, but it did earn him some of his better reviews, as well as spawning the Top 20 hits "Pressure" and "Allentown." Joel quickly followed the album in 1983 with the oldies pastiche An Innocent Man.

An Innocent Man restored Joel to his multi-platinum status, eventually selling over seven million copies and spawning the hit singles "Uptown Girl" (number three), "Tell Her About It" (number one), "An Innocent Man" (number ten), and "Keeping the Faith" (number 18). Several of the songs on the album were about model Christie Brinkley, who was engaged to Joel by the time the album was released. During 1983 and 1984, Joel became one of the first '70s stars to embrace MTV and music videos, shooting a number of clips for the album that were aired frequently on the network. Brinkley and Joel were married in the spring of 1985.

Greatest Hits, Vols. 1-2 (1973-1985)

Joel released a double-album compilation, Greatest Hits, Vols. 1-2 in the summer of 1985. Two new songs -- the Top Ten "You're Only Human (Second Wind)" and the Top 40 "The Night Is Still Young" -- were added to the hits collection; the album itself peaked at number six and would eventually sell over ten million copies. In the summer of 1986, Joel returned with the Top Ten single "Modern Woman," which was taken from the soundtrack of Ruthless People. "Modern Woman" was also a teaser from his new album, The Bridge, which was released in August. The Bridge was another success for Joel, peaking at number seven, selling over two million copies, and spawning the Top 40 hits "A Matter of Trust" (number ten) and "This Is the Time" (number 18), as well as "Big Man on Mulberry Street," which was used as the basis for an episode of the popular Bruce Willis/Cybill Shepherd television series Moonlighting.

Kontsert: Live in Leningrad

In the spring of 1987, Joel embarked on a major tour of the U.S.S.R., during which he had an on-stage temper tantrum and shoved a piano off the stage. His Leningrad concert was recorded and released in the fall of 1987 as the live double album Kohuept, which means concert in Russian. Joel was quiet for much of 1988, only appearing as the voice of Dodger in the Walt Disney animated feature Oliver and Company.

Storm Front

Joel fired his longtime manager and former brother-in-law Frank Weber in August of 1989, after an audit revealed that there were major discrepancies in Weber's accounting. Following Weber's dismissal, Joel sued Weber for 90 million dollars, claiming fraud and breach of fiduciary duty. Immediately after filing suit, Joel was hospitalized with kidney stones. All of this turmoil didn't prevent the release of his 12th studio album, Storm Front, in the fall of 1989. It was preceded by the single "We Didn't Start the Fire," whose lyrics were just a string of historical facts. The single became a huge hit, reaching number one and inspiring history students across America. Storm Front marked a significant change for Joel -- he fired his band, keeping only Liberty DeVito, and ceased his relationship with producer Phil Ramone, hiring Mick Jones of Foreigner to produce the album. Storm Front was another hit for Joel, reaching number one in the U.S. and selling over three million albums.

During 1990, Joel undertook a major U.S. tour, which ran well into 1991. In January, the court awarded Joel two million dollars in a partial judgment against Frank Weber, and in April, the court dismissed a 30 million dollar countersuit. At the end of the year, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences honored Joel with a Grammy Living Legend award; that same year, Quincy Jones, Johnny Cash, and Aretha Franklin were also given the honor.

River of Dreams

Following the Storm Front world tour, Joel spent the next few years quietly. In 1991, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Fairfield University in Connecticut. In the summer of 1992, Joel filed a 90 million dollar lawsuit charging his former lawyer Allen Grubman of fraud, breach of contract, and malpractice; in October of 1993, the two parties settled their differences out of court. Joel returned in the summer of 1993 with River of Dreams, which entered the charts at number one and spawned the Top Ten title track. Following the River of Dreams tour, Joel divorced Christie Brinkley. In 1996, he gave a series of lectures at a variety of American colleges. He performed at the 1999 New Year's Eve Party in Times Square, and 2000 Years: The Millennium Concert, a live album of this concert, was released early the following year.

Fantasies & Delusions (Music for Solo Piano)

His next studio record, Fantasies & Delusions, arrived in 2001 and was his first album of his own classical compositions. A year later, Twyla Tharp choreographed and directed Movin' Out, a Broadway musical based on Joel's music. A new venture as a children's author began in 2004 with the release of his first book, Goodnight, My Angel: A Lullaby. The 54-year-old Joel married the 23-year-old Katie Lee that same year and was making tabloid headlines again in March of 2005 when he checked into the Betty Ford Clinic for treatment of alcohol abuse. He checked out in April, and in November his four-CD/one-DVD career retrospective My Lives was released. Live in Madison Square Garden NYC and the accompanying 12 Gardens Live arrived in 2006.

In 2007, Joel released his first original composition since River of Dreams -- a ballad called "All My Life." He quickly followed it with "Christmas in Fallujah," a tune he wrote but did not sing; it was performed by Cass Dillon. After this brief burst of activity Joel returned to touring regularly, his most notable performance being the closing shows at the legendary Shea Stadium in July 2008. These two concerts were recorded and released as DVDs and CDs in the spring of 2011. On the heels of this live album came word that Joel was penning a memoir, but the book was quickly scrapped after the announcement.

Over the next couple of years, Joel transitioned toward performing in public frequently and, along with it, started to give more interviews. In 2013, he toured the United Kingdom and then performed at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn for his first New York solo headlining gig in five years. It wouldn't be his last: he soon announced that he'd have a regular residency at Madison Square Garden, performing 21 concerts in 2014 alone with an option to play there indefinitely. In addition to his New York shows, Joel also toured elsewhere in the U.S. He promoted these shows and the release of A Matter of Trust: The Bridge to Russia -- an expanded version of his 1987 live album Kohuept, containing two CDs of live performances from that Russian tour in addition to a documentary about the whole endeavor -- with a number of interviews, highlighted by a live "town hall" radio show with Howard Stern.

Source: AllMusic

One of rock and roll’s most talented musicians - Billy Joel Tags: ultimate rock classic billy joel hall famer word life production featured blog

Billy Joel ranks among rock and roll’s most talented musicians and accomplished songwriters.  His classical training and reverence for Broadway musicals have been counterpointed by his early grounding in the Long Island bar-band scene and his love of rhythm & blues, resulting in an enthusiastic yet musically sophisticated approach to rock and roll. His diverse influences include Beethoven, the Beatles, Dave Brubeck, George Gershwin, Phil Spector, Ray Charles and Fats Domino, whom Joel inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1986. From romantic balladry to hard-rocking material, with elements of jazz, pop and soul thrown into the mix, Joel has applied his skills in a diversity of settings. He is the pop crooner of “Piano Man” and the jazz-tinged romantic of “Just the Way You Are.” Yet he’s also capable of harder-rocking fare (Glass Houses), production-heavy pop with a Sixties influence (The Nylon Curtain) and vocal-group soul and doo-wop (An Innocent Man).

As an artist, Joel has stated that his goal is to make music that “meant something during the time in which I lived...and transcended that time.” Joel’s popularity is such that he tied the Beatles for the most multi-platinum albums in the U.S. With the success of “Piano Man"-a slice-of-life autobiography, written about Joel’s extended gig as a lounge pianist-Joel inaugurated a staggering run of hit singles. Between 1974 and1993, Joel placed at least one single in the Top Forty in every year but three. To date, 13 of Joel’s 42 hits have made the Top Ten, and three of them-"It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” (1980), “Tell Her About It” (1983) and “We Didn’t Start the Fire” (1989)-reached #1.

Billy Joel was born on May 9, 1949, in the Bronx. He displayed an early aptitude on the piano and began taking lessons at four. The training continued till he was sixteen, by which time Joel was already a veteran of three bands. In 1967, Joel joined the Hassles, a popular Long Island group that played blue-eyed soul with a twist of psychedelia. Gravitating back to the acoustic piano during the early stirrings of the Seventies singer-songwriter movement, Joel recorded Cold Spring Harbor, his debut as a solo artist. In a self-penned bio included with review copies, Joel wrote: “After seven years of trying to make it as a rock star, I decided to do what I always wanted to do-write about my own experiences.”

After the album flopped, Joel dropped out of sight, working as a lounge pianist in Los Angeles. He immortalized that experience in “Piano Man,” which served as the title track from his first album for Columbia Records. (He remains with the label to this day). His next album, Streetlife Serenade (1974), included “The Entertainer,” a withering portrait of the music industry. On Joel’s fourth album, the self-produced Turnstiles (1976), the singer/pianist stretched himself as a songwriter and stylist on a varied set that ranged from the Brill Building pop of “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” to the cabaret-styled tribute to his home turf, “New York State of Mind.” Joel made his commercial breakthrough with The Stranger, a hit-studded album that surpassed Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water as the top-selling album in Columbia’s history (until Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. displaced it in the Eighties). With its jazzy sheen and compositional cunning, Joel hit his stride on The Stranger, which yielded “Just the Way You Are,” “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)” and the suite-like “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant.” Its followup, 52nd Street, produced another round of hits, including the hard-rocking “Big Shot.”

Beneath their fluid, polished surface, Joel’s songs teem with a New Yorker’s brashness. Joel had boxed with his fists as a teenager and, on occasion, with his songs as an adult-no more so than on 1980’s Glass Houses. Its chart-topping first single, “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me,” rebutted punk and New Wave acts who’d taken potshots at perceived old-wavers like Joel. This further inflamed a war of words with his detractors in the rock press. However, the critics came around to Joel’s corner on the strength of such albums as The Nylon Curtain, which couched social themes in ornate pop productions inspired by the late-period Beatles, and An Innocent Man, his fond tribute to the doo-wop era. Greatest Hits Volume 1 & Volume 2, a double album that collected his singles, became Joel’s seventh consecutive Top Ten album.

Joel further refined his craft on The Bridge (1986) and Storm Front (1989)-mature later works on which he assimilated various genres into a cohesive personal style. Joel’s historic tour of the Soviet Union in 1987 resulted in a live album and video. Joel also turned a history lesson into a hit single with his rapid-fire recitation of 20th-century names and places in “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” from Storm Front. Both single and album reached #1, as Joel’s superstar status remained unabated despite ongoing shifts in musical trends. His marriage to and divorce from model Christie Brinkley, along with various business-related lawsuits, raised his profile as a celebrity and newsmaker. In 1993, Joel released River of Dreams, his first album of new material in four years, which entered Billboard‘s album chart at #1.

Subsequently, Joel has toured with Elton John and on his own. He also has lectured on college campuses, released Greatest Hits Volume III and composed instrumental pieces in a classical vein. Joel has remained in a state of semi-retirement as a pop songwriter and recording artist since River of Dreams. Meanwhile, worldwide sales of his back catalog topped the 100 million mark in 1999. Joel closed out the century with a gala Millennium Eve concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden.”

Source: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

 

Joe is a platinum recording artist and 7x Grammy-nominated elegant singer
Category: The Golden Era
Tags: golden era r b artist joe word life production feature weekly blog

Joe is an accomplished vocalist of smooth and sultry R&B productions with occasional hip-hop beats, and his extensive background in gospel music has allowed him to produce his albums as well as sing on them. A native of Georgia, Joe later moved to Opelika, Alabama; since he was the son of two preachers, he spent much time in church singing, playing guitar, and even directing the choir. Influenced early on by gospel stars like the Winans, Commissioned, and Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Joe grew to love soul legends Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye plus contemporary stars Bobby Brown and Keith Sweat.

Joe graduated from high school and continued to sing and write music while working at occasional temporary jobs. Finally, he traveled to New Jersey, hoping to make connections in the music industry. While working at a gospel record store and continuing his music education through a local church, he met producer Vincent Herbert and recorded a three-song demo tape. He signed to Polygram and in 1993 released his album debut, Everything. Joe also appeared on the soundtrack to Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood, and moved to Jive/RCA for his second album, 1997's All That I Am. The single "Don't Wanna Be a Player" hit the Top 40, thanks to its exposure on the soundtrack of Booty Call. While All That I Am went platinum, Joe remixed a duet by Tina Turner and Barry White, "Never in Your Dreams"; he also produced and wrote for the debut albums of Ideal and Deja Groove.

In 1999, Joe appeared on Mariah Carey's "Thank God I Found You" single (from Rainbow) and caught yet another break from a soundtrack appearance, this time with "I Wanna Know" from The Wood. Released as a single in the fall, "I Wanna Know" languished in the lower reaches of the charts until suddenly catching fire in early 2000; the single reached the R&B Top Five in March, setting the stage for Joe's next album, the multi-platinum My Name Is Joe. Despite never achieving that level of sales again, his releases throughout the remainder of the decade -- Better Days (2001), And Then... (2003), Ain't Nothin' Like Me (2007), Joe Thomas, New Man (2008), and Signature (2009) -- were solid full-lengths. Each one reached the Top Ten of the R&B chart. His first release of the 2010s was The Good, the Bad, the Sexy (2011), featuring four productions from Brandon “B.A.M.” Alexander. Fantasia and Too Short made guest appearances on Doubleback: Evolution of R&B (2013); Joe and Derek "DOA" Allen split up much of the production work, while Stargate contributed to "Compromise." ~ John Bush, Rovi

Source: MTV

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