Thanks to new and old fans, Billy Joel’s “Zanzibar” ranks #3 on TikTok’s 2021 Classic Tracks.
But any fan of live music knows that watching videos online doesn’t compare to watching the musician play live with passion. When it comes to Billy Joel, aka the Piano Man, well there’s a lot of practice and passion behind his 50 years of playing professionally as a solo artist with a killer backup band.
(Just in case you need any help with the lyrics to Zanzibar.)
The Piano Man
Only an artist this famous and decorated would have fans nicknamed him “The Piano Man” after his first top 20 single that came off his first gold album.
At the tender age of 4, Billy started studying piano. Playing the piano wouldn’t be his only skill and not even his best. Billy Joel’s claim to fame might arguably be his songwriting talents. Many times over, the lyrics in Billy’s songs immortalize a moment in his life which he adeptly encapsulates within his music. Over time, these songs, stories, and emotions transcend time.
Second to his main talent is the way Billy works the Steinway & Sons pianos he’s famous for playing.
The Women Behind the Hits
Part of Billy Joel’s songwriting talent includes making hits from his heartaches.
Just the Way You Are / She’s Got a Way / She’s Always a Woman
Billy Joel’s first wife, Elizabeth Weber, was the muse behind these hit songs. The marriage itself wouldn’t outlast the songs’ popularity. Unfortunately, the marriage ended in bitter heartbreak for Billy.
Uptown Girl / And So It Goes
After Elizabeth and some much-needed recovery time, Billy found himself the wanted man between two supermodels – Elle MacPherson and Christy Brinkley.
Contrary to popular belief that “Uptown Girl” was written for Christy, Billy admits Elle inspired the hit. The song captured the highlights of their brief time dating. Never mind that Christy is the woman in the video. As for “And So It Goes,” that song has a sadder truth. It was all about Billy’s insecurities about dating a younger and taller woman (Elle) who was on the brink of super-stardom and the crushing inevitability that she would leave him.
This is the Time / An Innocent Man
After briefly dating Elle, Billy dated and married Christy. These two songs he wrote for Christy to crystalize their best days together.
Billy Joel at Camping World Stadium
Watch the legendary singer/songwriter perform in Orlando at Camping World Stadium.
Billy Joel ranks as one of the most popular recording artists who’s sold more than 150 million records. He’s had 33 top 40 hits which means there’s a great chance of knowing all the songs he plays (and maybe dancing to a few). A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame even bears his name.
Tickets are still on sale for the March 12, 2022, concert to see Billy Joel – New York’s quintessential son – at Camping World Stadium.