Legendary musician has been entertaining millions for over four decades and still consistently performs to sell-out crowds. He’s even had to add more performance dates this year to his arena itineraries to accommodate his faithful fans.
Known for his abundance of hits including Piano Man, Just the Way You Are, Uptown Girl, and so many more, the Grammy Award-winner has made a lot of songs, and a lot of money, over the course of his amazing career.
Billy Joel’s net worth is $225 million
The singer is worth $225 million according to estimates from Celebrity Net Worth. He’s No. 29 of Forbes’ list of the World’s Highest-Paid Musicians Of 2018, an incredible accomplishment in the fourth decade of his career. It is an achievement that speaks to his consistent and ongoing relevance with the audiences that fill his concert venues.
How Joel started out
The celebrated pianist told Parade he began playing piano in bars at the age of 14 to help bring in money for his single mom who was raising him and his sister.
“My mom had a tough time, struggling to make ends meet. Women who had to work weren’t treated very nicely. There were no good-paying jobs for women then.”
“I didn’t drop out of high school,” Joel continued. “I went through 12th grade…just didn’t show up for classes because I was working at night. At the end of my senior year, my high school said, ‘You don’t have enough credits.’ So I said, ‘To hell with it. I’m not going to Columbia University, I’m going to Columbia Records.’”
Joel’s legendary career
The singer, dubbed “The Piano Man” thanks to his signature song from the album of the same name, started out earning peanuts but he definitely didn’t stay that way. That album, 1974’s Piano Man, did modestly well on the charts.
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"…by 1977, Joel had an incredible new batch of songs in his back pocket and a new producer named Phil Ramone eager to work with him and his road band. Working together they crafted an album that would produce four huge hit singles, sell millions of copies and move Billy Joel into basketball arenas for the rest of his career. They called it 'The Stranger,' and it hit shelves on September 29th, 1977." -Rolling Stone. In honor of its 40th anniversary, read Rolling Stone’s track-by-track guide to the album’s nine songs at BillyJoel.com
But it wasn’t until his next album, The Stranger, was released in 1977 that Joel saw real success. The first single, Just The Way You Are, was played seemingly everywhere on the radio. The album also included songs that are legendary classics to this day, including Scenes from An Italian Restaurant, Movin’ Out, and She’s Always a Woman. After that came thirteen studio albums, each one churning out one hit after another for the performer.
What he’s earning now
Although he hasn’t released a new album in 20 years, since 1993’s River of Dreams, the songwriter is still making a nice chunk of change each year.
This is thanks especially to his touring. Between 2014-2018, Joel grossed $130 million from his concert residency at New York City’s Madison Square Garden alone, where seats are filled up every night.
Clearly, the Piano Man doesn’t need to generate new music to make money.
When asked by Parade why the crowds keep showing up to his concerts, Joel replied, “I’m an unlikely candidate for a rock star. I don’t look like a rock star. I’m like the eternal underdog. In my songs’ lyrics, there’s a lot of acknowledgment that I’m a screw-up, you know—I’m human. I’m as lost as you are. Like you, I’m just trying to find my way. I guess people like that.”
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