Entries in Billy Joel (11)


Legendary Music Producer Phil Ramone Dead at 79 YORK) -- Acclaimed music producer Phil Ramone has died, about a month after being hospitalized with an aortic aneurysm.  

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ramone died Saturday morning at New York Presbyterian Hospital. He was 79-years-old.

Over his long and successful career, Ramone received a total of 33 Grammy nominations and won 14 awards, including a trophy for Producer of the Year in 1981. Among the many well-known albums he's produced are Paul Simon's Still Crazy After All These Years; Billy Joel's The Stranger, 52nd Street and Glass Houses; Frank Sinatra's Duets; Paul & Linda McCartney's Ram; Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks and Ray Charles' Genius Loves Company.

Ramone also recorded Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of "Happy Birthday" that she sang to President John F. Kennedy in 1962.  In 1973, he won an Emmy Award for producing Liza Minnelli's Liza with a Z special.

In the last few years, Phil had worked on such recordings as Simon's So Beautiful or So What, Tony Bennett's Duets albums and Dionne Warwick's Now.

In 2010, Ramone was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. At the event, Billy Joel talked about what made Ramone such a great producer. "He knows his stuff. He knows music. He's worked in so many genres," explained Joel. "He loves music himself. He's a fan of music. He's just a good human being and he keeps you interested. He keeps you in the studio when sometimes you're ready to give up."

In an interview with Music Radar in November, Ramone explained his approach to producing, saying, "You have to be able to run as fast as the artist, capture the magic early on. After a few takes, people start intellectualizing what they’re doing, and it loses something. What’s special happens right away -- so you have to be ready for it.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


"12-12-12" Concert: Music Superstars Rock Out for Sandy Relief

Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Clear Channel(NEW YORK) -- It was a night of music, comedy and celebrities at 12.12.12 -- The Concert for Sandy Relief, held at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Wednesday night.

While several top artists in the rock and pop genres performed for the MSG crowd, actors such as James Gandolfini, Jimmy Fallon and Jack McBrayer manned a phone bank where they accepted donations from viewers.

Forty cable networks televised and numerous websites streamed the event, the proceeds of which benefited The Robin Hood Relief Fund and victims of Superstorm Sandy.

Fittingly, the concert began at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time with a "local" artist -- New Jersey's Bruce Springsteen.  The Boss and his E Street Band kicked off his half-hour set with a performance of "Land of Hope & Dreams."

As he introduced "My City of Ruins," Springsteen noted that he wrote the song about Asbury Park, N.J.  He described the Jersey Shore as an area for both the rich and poor, adding, "I pray that that characteristic remains along the Jersey Shore because that's what makes it special."

Springsteen mixed "My City of Ruins" with a bit of "Jersey Girl," a favorite of Springsteen fans that was originally recorded by Tom Waits.

Springsteen was joined by another Jersey rocker, Jon Bon Jovi, for his final song, "Born to Run."  Springsteen returned the favor during Bon Jovi's set, teaming with the band on their hit "Who Says You Can't Go Home."

Springsteen and Bon Jovi were far from the only legendary rockers to take the stage over the course of the night.

Paul McCartney, the closing act, provided a special moment when he brought the former members of Nirvana on stage -- minus the late Kurt Cobain, of course, but including drummer-turned-Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl -- for a new song called "Cut Me Some Slack."  Sir Paul also sprinkled in some crowd-pleasers like "Helter Skelter" and "Live and Let Die."

The Rolling Stones, in the middle of a 50th anniversary tour, played just two songs, including "Jumpin' Jack Flash."  Mick Jagger joked at one point, "This has to be the largest collection of old English musicians ever assembled in Madison Square Garden."

That "collection" also included The Who, which saluted their late drummer, Keith Moon, by screening footage of him singing during their performance of "Bell Boy."  And as he took over vocals on "Baba O'Riley," Pete Townshend changed the lyrics "It's only teenage wasteland" to "It’s only Sandy wasteland."

The other artists on the bill were Long Island native Billy Joel; Manhattan's own Alicia Keys; Pink Floyd's Roger Waters, who was joined by Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder; Eric Clapton; rapper Kanye West; and Coldplay's Chris Martin, who duetted with R.E.M. singer Michael Stipe.

The telecast featured celebrity appearances by Billy Crystal, Susan Sarandon, Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Kristen Stewart, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Diddy, Olivia Wilde, Steve Buscemi, Chris Rock, Seth Meyers, Brian Williams and Jake Gyllenhaal.

The marathon concert ended with Alicia Keys returning to the stage to perform “Empire State of Mind” as McCartney, firefighters, members of various public works departments and individuals personally affected by the superstorm gathered on stage.

An album of select performances from 12.12.12 will be sold on iTunes beginning on Dec. 18.

Here are the set lists from 12.12.12 -- The Concert for Sandy Relief, in chronological order:

Bruce Springsteen
"Land Of Hope And Dreams"
"Wrecking Ball"
"My City Of Ruins/Jersey Girl"
"Born To Run" (with Jon Bon Jovi)

Roger Waters
"In the Flesh?"
"Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)"
"Us And Them"
"Comfortably Numb" (with Eddie Vedder)

Bon Jovi

"It's My Life"
"Wanted Dead or Alive"
"Who Says You Can't Go Home" (with Bruce Springsteen)
"Livin' on a Prayer"

Eric Clapton
"Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out"
"Got To Get Better In A Little While"

The Rolling Stones
"You Got Me Rocking"
"Jumpin' Jack Flash"

Alicia Keys
"Brand New Me"
"No One"

The Who
"Who Are You"
"Bell Boy"
"Pinball Wizard"
"See Me, Feel Me"/"Listening to You"
"Baba O'Riley"
"Love, Reign o'er Me"
"Tea and Theatre"

Kanye West
"Jesus Walks"
"All Of The Lights"/"Run This Town"
"Diamonds" remix (featuring recorded Rihanna vocals)
"Touch the Sky"
"Gold Digger"
"Good Life"

Billy Joel
"Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)"
"Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)"
"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
"New York State of Mind"
"The River of Dreams"
"You May Be Right"
"Only the Good Die Young"

Chris Martin
"Viva La Vida"
"Losing My Religion" (R.E.M. song; with Michael Stipe)
"Us Against The World"

Paul McCartney
"Helter Skelter"
"Let Me Roll It"
"Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five"
"My Valentine" (with Diana Krall)
"Cut Me Some Slack" (with Nirvana's Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear)
"I've Got a Feeling"
"Live and Let Die"

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


9/11, Remembrance and Renewal: Celebs Recall Attacks

October 2001: Paul McCartney organized "The Concert for New York" to raise money for the families of victims of 9/11. Dave Hogan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- As the nation marks 10 years since the attacks of 9/11, three music stars reflect on the tragedies of that day.

On Sept. 11, 2001, New Yorker Stefani Germanotta was a 15-year-old girl with big dreams. "I remember where I was and what I did and exactly...every moment and the smell and everything about it I remember," she says. Ten years after that tragic day, Germanotta, better known as Lady Gaga, is one of the biggest stars in the world.

"I will always mourn on Sept. 11," she says.

Paul McCartney watched the events unfold from an airplane while on the tarmac at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.

"Out of the window on the right side of the airplane you could see the Twin Towers," he recalls.

After witnessing the tragedy firsthand, McCartney stayed in New York and helped organize The Concert for New York City to honor the first responders to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

"There was really great fear and we actually felt like we were doing a bit of good," McCartney says of the concert, which raised more than $30 million to benefit the victims and their families.

Billy Joel also played at that concert with Elton John.  Joel says that while 9/11 was a tragic blow to his hometown, New York City has recovered.

"This city has great resolution.  There's a lot of resolve here, there's a lot of character here.  You're not going to keep this place down," he says.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Lindsay Lohan Inked by Billy Joel

Alo Ceballos/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- Lindsay Lohan has found some inspiration in the Piano Man.

Her new tattoo reads: "clear as a crystal, sharp as a knife I feel like I'm in the prime of my life," which are lyrics from Billy Joel's song, "I Go to Extremes," released in 1989.

A source close to Lohan told, the lyrics were chosen because of all that she has been through and "it signifies that she's focused."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Billy Joel Salutes Garth Brooks at Songwriters Hall of Fame

Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Songwriters Hall of Fame(NEW YORK) -- The Songwriters Hall of Fame had its annual induction gala Thursday night in New York City, and the biggest name being honored was country superstar Garth Brooks.

On hand to help do the honors was Brooks' pal Billy Joel -- the two have been friends and shared stages several times, ever since Brooks scored a massive country hit with Joel's song "Shameless."

On the red carpet, Joel said, "Garth has an insight, because he writes himself, on how to interpret other people's songs...I'm a New Yorker.  He had a hit on country-western radio with 'Shameless.'  That's pretty cool!  I never even imagined that."

Speaking more generally, Joel said the Songwriters Hall of Fame, of which he is a member, is important because songwriters don't get the recognition they deserve.

"The toughest part of the job is the writing," he told reporters.  "You can go on American Idol and yell in key, Idol of America or whatever, but writing?  That's a whole other ball of wax.  There's a lot of craft, a lot of dedication, a lot of hard work, aggravation and frustration."

Brooks agreed, saying of songwriters, "A blank piece of paper [to them] is like holding a piece of meat in front of a dog.  They see a blank piece of paper and they see an opportunity to say something."

Other Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees Thursday night included Leon Russell; New Orleans pianist, composer and arranger Alan Toussaint, who wrote "Lady Marmalade" and "Southern Nights"; the team of Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly, who wrote "Like a Virgin," "True Colors" and "I'll Stand By You"; and Tom Bettis, who wrote "Crazy for You," "Slow Hand," "Top of the World" and "Human Nature."

In addition, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, who wrote "You've Lost that Lovin' Feelin'," "Here You Come Again," "We Gotta Get Out of This Place," "Just Once" and many other songs, were honored with the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award.  Chaka Khan was also honored.

On hand to help celebrate the honorees were Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders, Billy Medley of the Righteous Brothers, Boz Scaggs, Ashford & Simpson, and Sam Moore of Sam & Dave.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Billy Joel Scraps Planned Memoir

Jemal Countess/WireImage for Songwriter's Hall of Fame(NEW YORK) -- Fans looking forward to finding out all the details about Billy Joel's life will have to wait in vain -- he's canceled plans to publish his memoir.  The Book of Joel was due out in June from HarperCollins, but Joel has now decided to put the kibosh on the project.

In a statement provided to ABC News by his rep, the "Piano Man" said, "It took working on writing a book to make me realize that I'm not all that interested in talking about the past, and that the best expression of my life and its ups and downs has been, and remains, my music."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Billy Joel's Memoir Gets Release Date

Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- The Book of Joel, Billy Joel's memoir, co-written with author Fred Schruers, will be in stores June 14, and according to publisher HarperCollins, it will cover the entire arc of the Piano Man's career, from his early struggles to his eventual superstardom.

He will discuss his troubled love life, including his marriage to Christie Brinkley, and his feelings about fatherhood, as well as the real-life events that inspired many of his hits.

Widely speculated is what he may say about Elton John, who recently made headlines for saying that Joel needed to go to a "serious" rehab program.

Readers are promised "an emotional ride."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Celine to Sing Billy Joel Song in New Vegas Show

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) -- Despite the hype surrounding the impending debut of Celine Dion's new show in Las Vegas next month, not much is actually known about what it will look like, or even sound like.  Originally, the show was described as a tribute to the music of Hollywood, but that's no longer the case.  The show's director, Ken Ehrlich, tells Las Vegas Weekly, "We started out making it with a very definite kind of Hollywood theme, but as the show began to take on a life of its own, we realized that to some extent, that was limiting."  He adds, "We [realized we] could still incorporate some great songs of Hollywood, but we didn't have to plaster it on a marquee [as] 'Celine Goes Hollywood,' y'know."

Ehrlich says the show will include Celine's hits, as well as "a mix of songs she's always wanted to sing."  One of the songs she'll be performing, he reveals, is Billy Joel's "Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel)," a touching ballad which appeared on his 1993 album River of Dreams.  The song is very personal to Billy, since it was inspired by his daughter Alexa Ray, but Celine is making it her own.  Ehrlich says, "It's just one of those songs that on its own is extremely emotional, and when she sings it, you know she's singing it to her kids.  It's really something."

The new show, which is currently untitled, opens March 15 at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Billy Joel Responds to Elton John's 'Rolling Stone' Comments

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Elton John predicted that his friend Billy Joel would "hate" him for comments he made in the new issue of Rolling Stone. Among other things, John, a former drug addict, accused Joel of "coasting" artistically, and admonished him for not putting himself through a strenuous enough rehab program to conquer his "alcoholism" once and for all.

But Joel isn't taking offense at John's candor. In a statement provided Wednesday to ABC News Radio by Billy Joel's spokeswoman, Claire Mercuri, the Grammy-winning artist said, "I've worked with Elton for such a long time and I've enjoyed our relationship too much to let something as random as these comments change my affection for him. Elton is just being Elton."

This isn't the first time that Joel has had to respond to comments that John made in the press about him. In February 2010, John told reporters that he was "heartbroken" that Joel had "canceled" an additional summer leg of their joint Face 2 Face tour, but Joel denied it, saying that that tour leg was never booked, and he was simply taking some time off.

In the Feb. 17 issue of Rolling Stone, John claims that he and Joel were forced to cancel dates on their joint tours from time to time due to Billy's alcoholism. Joel has had two stints in rehab -- one in 2002 and one in 2005 -- but John evidently feels those programs should've been tougher. He tells Rolling Stone, "I love you, have your demons and you're not going to get rid of them at 'rehab lite.' You've got to be serious."

John also tells Rolling Stone that he feels as though Joel is "coasting" because he hasn't released an original album of pop songs since 1993. As John tells the magazine, "I always say, 'Billy, can't you write another song?' It's either fear or laziness. It upsets me. Billy's a conundrum."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Slew of New Albums Being Released This Week

Photo Courtesy - Island Def Jam/Def Jam Recordings(NEW YORK) -- The holiday season is officially upon us, as a slew of major artists all release new albums on Tuesday.  Here's a rundown of the acts who are fighting for your entertainment dollar this week:

After the darkness of Rated R, Rihanna returns with Loud, which has already produced two smash hits: "Only Girl (In the World)" and "What's My Name?"  Eminem, Nicki Minaj and Drake all appear on the album.

Following the less-than-stellar sales of his 2008 disc Brass Knuckles, Nelly returns with 5.0, which has produced his biggest hit in five years, "Just a Dream."

Pink's first-ever best of, Greatest Hits...So Far!!!!, includes all her smashes, as well as several new tunes, including the new single, "Raise Your Glass."

Kid Rock's new album Born Free is the follow-up to his smash hit disc Rock N Roll Jesus.  It was produced by Rick Rubin and features guest appearances by rapper T.I., Sheryl Crow and country stars Martina McBride and Zac Brown Band.

American Idol champ Lee DeWyze releases his debut, Live It Up, for which he co-wrote 10 out of the 11 tracks.

Annie Lennox releases her first Christmas album, A Christmas Cornucopia, featuring her take on classic songs like "The First Noel."  It also includes one new song, "Universal Child."

Glee: The Music -- The Christmas Album features the songs from an upcoming holiday-themed episode of the hit Fox series.

Billy Joel's comprehensive best-of compilation, The Hits, includes songs from every phase of his career.

Bruce Springsteen's The Promise is a three CD/DVD collection that documents the making of his 1978 album, Darkness on the Edge of Town.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio