Billy Joel, AKA Piano Man, is arguably one of the most famous musicians in recent history. He is a singer with a large following, and most of his songs are about love and experiences in life. He is also an accomplished pianist and is said to be one of the best-selling artists of all time. With this fame comes many interesting facts about the legend, of which this post will cover six of the most noteworthy ones.

Who Is The Legend, Billy Joel?
Born in 1949 in The Bronx, New York, Billy Joel has been active in the music business for more than five decades. He is arguably best known for his song “Piano Man,” released in 1973 and which became a hit single. To this day, he has sold more than 150 million records worldwide. Billy Joel is a pianist, singer-songwriter, and composer. He is one of the most popular recording artists and composers in history, with numerous catchy titles. He is also a nine-time Grammy Award-winner who has been inducted into both the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Six Things You Might Not Know About Billy Joel
While he is known around the globe by millions as a singer, he has an illustrious history that isn’t well-documented. What are some of the most interesting facts about this legend?

His Nickname Is Piano Man
When Billy Joel was asked to give an impromptu concert in December 1973 at a gathering of friends, he sat down on the living room piano and played from memory. “Piano Man” is his first single from the album of the same name, released in 1973. It was a commercial success, and the song is often viewed as being autobiographical, with Joel himself being the “Piano Man.” 

It is now one of his most famous songs of all time and a mainstay at all of his concerts. People learning to play the piano often choose this song as one of the first ones to master once they have learned the instrument. Even those attempting to learn by themselves will typically decide to learn to play Piano Man using music sheets that can be found online, as it is both catchy and extremely enjoyable to play! Additionally, it is also a relatively straightforward composition to master.

He Was A Boxer In His Younger Years
Prior to his musical career, he dabbled with boxing in his youth. Well, “dabbled” might be an understatement, as he was actually a pretty accomplished boxer in his own right. He initially took up the sport as a way to defend himself in the rough Bronx neighborhood where he grew up, as he was often the target of bullies. Even so, he was so successful that he won 22 fights in the amateur Golden Gloves circuit. For those unaware, the Golden Cloves circuit is a boxing tournament in which amateur boxers compete for the title of “Golden Gloves Champion.” The contest is divided into age categories with different weights. In other words, although it is an amateur tournament, it still attracts some of the best boxers in North America. Although he was undoubtedly a great boxer, he threw in the towel after his 24th bout due to a broken nose.

He Was Inspired By The Beatles
Despite the fact that he has become famous as the Piano Man, Joel was a reluctant entrant into the world of pianos and music. Growing up in the Bronx apparently doesn’t do much for a person’s appetite for the finer arts. However, after seeing a Beatles performance on Ed Sullivan Show in 1965, he apparently became enamored. By all accounts, he was noted as saying that he had never previously considered using his musical abilities to play rock and roll music until that fateful day. It seems that he appreciated that the Beatles were composed of average, “working-class stiff” (his own words), which appealed to him and his own situation.

He Had A Brief Stint In A Heavy Metal Band!
His obsession with the Beatles looked to turn him past the world of rock and roll directly towards heavy metal, a genre that was just coming to the forefront at the time. His band was named Atilla, and their specialty was to play exceptionally loudly, extremely fast, and get the audience pumping. However, in his own words, they were so loud and obnoxious that they drove all of the customers out of the club! Attila didn’t last long, but fortunately for the world, he was bitten by the music bug and moved into a different niche.

He Gives Away All The Front Row Seats In His Concerts
This fact is one of the more well-known but bears repeating as it shows you who the man genuinely is. Scalping is a massive part of the music world, especially in live concerts. Apparently, after years of dealing with this situation, along with the fact that the front typically included those only interested in appearances, he decided to change tack. As a result of his increasing fame, he can stipulate that the entire front row of any concert he performed at must remain open. However, it doesn’t end there. He has chosen to take this path because he wants to give away these prime seats to those who are genuine Billy Joel fans and who will appreciate the music.

He Is One Of The Best-Selling Musicians Of All Time
Billy Joel is considered to be one of the greatest living musicians of all time. However, this isn’t mere hot air; it is backed up by the fact that he is the sixth best-selling artist with over 150 million records sold in his lifetime. This is quite an achievement for someone who was forced into playing the piano and was an extremely reluctant musician! However, his talent speaks for itself and has struck a chord with millions worldwide. 

Billy Joel is one of the most successful singer-songwriters in American history, with an extensive list of songs, albums, and concerts. However, he is far more than the singer you see on stage, and hopefully, these facts have enlightened you about his history and character.