Last Updated: April 8, 2024
Richest CelebritiesRock Stars
Net Worth:
$250 Million
May 9, 1949 (75 years old)
The Bronx
5 ft 5 in (1.66 m)
Singer-songwriter, Pianist, Lyricist, Composer, Orchestrator, Businessperson, Musician, Voice Actor
United States of America
💰 Compare Billy Joel's Net Worth

What is Billy Joel's Net Worth?

Billy Joel is an American singer and songwriter who has a net worth of $250 million. Billy Joel is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold over 160 million records worldwide. His career peaked in the 1970s and '80s, during which he released a string of successful albums and singles that have since become classics.

Joel is perhaps most famous for his storytelling ability and his knack for creating memorable, melodic pop songs. His biggest albums include "The Stranger" (1977), which houses the hits "Just the Way You Are," "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)," "Only the Good Die Young," and "52nd Street" (1978), which won the Grammy for Album of the Year and included the popular single "My Life." Additionally, "Glass Houses" (1980) contains the number one hit "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me," and "An Innocent Man" (1983) pays homage to various styles of 1950s and '60s music.

One of his most beloved songs is "Piano Man," from the album of the same name released in 1973. This song, often considered his signature tune, encapsulates Joel's ability to craft relatable narratives set to compelling music.

Early Life

William Martin Joel was born on May 9, 1949, in the Bronx, New York City. His father was a classical pianist and businessman from Germany. His family fled the Nazis via Switzerland and Cuba before reaching the United States. Joel's mother's family was from Kent, England. His parents met in the late 1930s at a Gilbert and Sullivan performance at the City College of New York. His family moved to Hicksville, Long Island while he was still young. There, he grew up with his younger sister, Judy. His parents divorced in 1957, and his father returned to Europe, settling in Austria, where he remarried. Joel's half-brother from his father's side, Alexander Joel, also pursued a career in music and was the chief musical director of the Staatstheater Braunschweig from 2001 to 2014.

At the age of 4, Joel began taking piano lessons at the insistence of his mother. Subsequently, he developed a love for and appreciation of, classical music that he still feels today. A love of all things musical drove him to join his first band, The Echoes, while only 14. He attended Hicksville High School but ultimately did not graduate because he did not have sufficient credits. Rather than take summer classes to finish school, he opted to pursue a full-time musical career instead.


Joel left the band The Echoes in 1967 (then renamed to the Lost Souls) and joined the group the Hassles. The Hassles were signed to United Artists Records, and they released several singles and albums, although none of their releases achieved much traction. Joel and the band's drummer, Jon Small, left the group in 1969 and formed the duo Attila. Their eponymous album was released in July 1970, but their partnership did not last long because Joel had an affair with Small's wife, Elizabeth.

Joel went solo in 1971 when he signed a deal with record company Family Productions and released his debut solo album, "Cold Spring Harbor" (1971). Although the album was not a hit, he did manage to attract the attention of Columbia Records, and they signed him in 1972. With Columbia, he released the albums "Piano Man" (1973), "Streetlife Serenade" (1974), and "Turnstiles" (1976), but it wasn't until his fourth solo album "The Stranger" (1977) that he achieved a breakthrough into mainstream popularity. "The Stranger" sold over 10 million copies and was the source of hit singles like "Just the Way You Are," "Only the Good Die Young," and "She's Always a Woman." His subsequent albums include "52nd Street" (1978), "Glass Houses" (1980), "The Nylon Curtain" (1982), "An Innocent Man" (1983), "The Bridge" (1986), "Storm Front" (1989), and "River of Dreams" (1993).

Billy Joel's record sales have topped 150 million worldwide, which has made him one of the best-selling artists in history. He has received 23 Grammy nominations with six Grammy wins and is a member of the Songwriter Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Joel retired from actively recording songs in 1993. However, he did release the album "Fantasies & Delusions" in 2001. In a departure from his usual style and material, the album consists of classical piano compositions and is performed by his longtime friend and pianist, Richard Hyung-ki Joo.


Joel has since toured sporadically on his own and with fellow artists like Elton John. He also has a monthly residency at Madison Square Garden, which has been ongoing since 2014, and he played his 72nd consecutive monthly show there on January 25, 2020. Joel is so popular that his compilation album of greatest hits, "Greatest Hits Vol. 1 & 2" (1985), became one of the best-selling albums in the US. He received the Kennedy Center Honors in 2013.

Joel announced that his residency at Madison Square Garden would come to an end in July 2024 with his 100th performance in the series, marking his 150th lifetime performance at the venue.

Financial Problems

In 1989, Billy sued his former manager, Frank Weber, for $90 million. Weber was his former brother-in-law, the suit claimed that Weber mishandled $30 million of the singer's money and sought $60 million in damages. Weber subsequently filed for bankruptcy. Billy sued his accountants and lawyers and ultimately received a reported $8 million settlement.

Other Projects

Joel authored the autobiography "The Book of Joel: A Memoir" (2011) with help from Fred Schruers. Additionally, he has owned the Long Island Boat Company as well as a shop in Oyster Bay, Long Island, that makes custom retro-styled motorcycles. In 2014, the biography "Billy Joel" was released based on extensive personal interviews with Schruers.

Personal Life

Joel's first wife was Elizabeth Weber Small. Their relationship actually started as an affair, as she was still married to Jon Small, one of Joel's musical collaborators. Eventually, Joel and Small married in 1973, and they divorced in 1982. The loss of roughly $30 million in mismanaged funds at the hands of Elizabeth's brother Frank, PLUS a multi-million dollar divorce settlement, left Billy nearly broke when he left the marriage.

He was financially very unsound as he headed into his second marriage to American model Christie Brinkley. He constantly toured to generate funds. That caused a major rift and allegations of infidelity. They were married from 1985 to 1994 and had a daughter together, Alexa Ray Joel. His third marriage was to chef Katie Lee, from 2004 to 2009. Joel's fourth wife is Alexis Roderick. He and Roderick married in 2015, but they have been together since 2009. Together, they have two daughters, Della Rose Joel and Remy Anne Joel.

Joel had never received his high school diploma after not having sufficient credits to graduate back in 1967. Instead, 25 years later, he submitted essays to the school board of Hicksville High School to make up his missing credits, and he was awarded his high school diploma at the school's graduation ceremony in 1992. Additionally, he has been awarded numerous honorary doctorates, including from institutions like Fairfield University, Berklee College of Music, Syracuse University, the Manhattan School of Music, and Stony Brook University.

Billy Joel Career Earnings

Between June 2017 and June 2018, Billy Joel earned $45 million. In the same period between 2017 and 2019, he earned $50 million.

When Billy undergoes a residency, such as his multi-year Madison Square Garden residencies, he can easily earn $2-3 million per show. His 2019 New Year's Eve show grossed $4.6 million. Between 2014, when the residency began, and the end of 2019, Billy grossed $150 million from his MSG residency.

Real Estate

Billy Joel has bought and sold a number of impressive properties around the country over the years, notably in Florida and Long Island, New York. He sold previous homes to singer Sting, comedian Jerry Seinfeld, and retail executive Mickey Drexler. He has jokingly referred to himself as the "realtor to the stars."

In 2002, Billy paid $22.5 million for a mansion called Middlesea that is set on 14 acres of an island called Centre Island in Oyster Bay, New York. He eventually expanded the property to 26 acres with several additional purchases. The original property featured a 14,000-square-foot mansion at the time of his purchase in 2002. He eventually expanded to 20,000 square feet. The property also features a helipad, a beach house, and two pools. In May 2023, Billy listed this property for sale for $49 million. Billy owns another property in Sag Harbor, New York. Here is a video tour of the home that was listed for sale:

In 2014, Billy paid just under $12 million for two side-by-side properties that cover 4 acres in Manalapan, Florida. One of the lots was undeveloped, the other featured a nearly 9,000-square-foot mansion. He listed the combined compound for sale in 2015 for $29 million. He offered the mansion on its own (without the undeveloped lot) for $19.5 million. He ultimately accepted $10.3 million in January 2020. He did not sell the undeveloped lot, which made up around three of the property's four acres.

In January 2015, Billy bought yet another Manalapan estate. He paid $22.495 million for the 13,000-square-foot waterfront mansion. Billy listed this estate for sale in January 2024 for $55 million. He lowered the price to $50 million in March 2024.

In 2006, Billy paid $5.9 million for a New York City townhouse. His ex-wife, Katie Lee, received this property in their divorce. She sold it in 2011 for $12.9 million.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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