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Billy Joel

  • American musician
  • Born May 9, 1949

William Martin Joel (born May 9, 1949) is an American singer-songwriter, composer and pianist. Commonly nicknamed the "Piano Man" after his signature song of the same name, he has led a commercially successful career as a solo artist since the 70s, having released twelve studio albums from 1971 to 1993. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time as well as the sixth best-selling recording artist and the third best-selling solo artist in the United States, with over 150 million records sold worldwide.


In a way, we are magicians. We are alchemists, sorcerers and wizards. We are a very strange bunch. But there is great fun in being a wizard.




Artists - musicians, painters, writers, poets - always seem to have had the most accurate perception of what is really going on around them, not the official version or the popular perception of contemporary life.




I have a theory that the only original things we ever do are mistakes.




I don't care what consequence it brings, I have been a fool for lesser things.




There's a deep-seated paranoia that Americans have about not being Americans or something.




Why do musicians give so much time to charitable causes? The most humanitarian cause that we can give our time to is the creation and performance of music itself.




The whole world loves American movies, blue jeans, jazz and rock and roll. It is probably a better way to get to know our country than by what politicians or airline commercials represent.




Most people are satisfied with the junk food being sold as music.




I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints - the sinners are much more fun.




I definitely prefer being a lover than a fighter.




I was drawn to boxing because I got beat up as a kid. I was the kid with the piano books in a New York neighbourhood.




You're not the only one who's made mistakes, but they're the only things that you can truly call your own.




I think music in itself is healing. It's an explosive expression of humanity. It's something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we're from, everyone loves music.




I consider myself to be an inept pianist, a bad singer, and a merely competent songwriter. What I do, in my opinion, is by no means extraordinary.




Musicians want to be the loud voice for so many quiet hearts.




If you are not doing what you love, you are wasting your time.




I'm a history nut.




I think historically America has been pretty tolerant. It seems when there's a mass influx from one place, that's when it becomes problematic for Americans.




It feels great to have a #1 album.




It's really hard to make a living as a musician. It's almost impossible.




I really wish I was less of a thinking man and more of a fool not afraid of rejection.




When I was a young musician, the only option available to pursue secondary education in music was to attend a classical conservatory.




We are living in a time when American popular music is finally being recognized as one of our most successful exports. The demand is huge.




I can't think of one person I've ever met who didn't like some type of music.




I did write a letter to the archdiocese who'd banned the song, Only the Good Die Young, asking them to ban my next record.




Have you listened to the radio lately? Have you heard the canned, frozen and processed product being dished up to the world as American popular music today?




Don't make music for some vast, unseen audience or market or ratings share or even for something as tangible as money. Though it's crucial to make a living, that shouldn't be your inspiration. Do it for yourself.




Twyla Tharp put it together from the material I wrote and recorded over my whole career. I thought it was pretty good, but how objective could I be?




I am no longer afraid of becoming lost, because the journey back always reveals something new, and that is ultimately good for the artist.




There's nothing better than good sex. But bad sex? A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is better than bad sex.




I've crashed my car three times.




Historically, musicians know what it is like to be outside the norm - walking the high wire without a safety net. Our experience is not so different from those who march to the beat of different drummers.




If you make music for the human needs you have within yourself, then you do it for all humans who need the same things. You enrich humanity with the profound expression of these feelings.




I never said I wasn't going to play any more. I don't know where that came from.




More than art, more than literature, music is universally accessible.




In an age of incompetence, I've been able to last in this crazy business. I actually know how to play my ax and write a song. That's my job.



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