Billy Joel Launches Music Education Initiative
The Billy Joel Endowment Fund To Provide Seed Money, Scholarships & Endowments To A Variety Of East Coast Colleges, Universities & Music Schools
As part of his long-term commitment to music education, Billy Joel has recently launched an ongoing initiative to provide gifts of seed money, musical scholarships, and endowments to a variety of East Coast colleges, universities, and music schools. Awards, scholarships and endowments granted by the Billy Joel Endowment Fund will be announced at the discretion of the individual institutions.
A longtime advocate for music education, Joel first began holding "master class" sessions on college campuses more than 20 years ago, giving sessions at colleges across the country and around the world. In addition, he has held classes as a benefit for the STAR Foundation (Standing for Truth About Radiation) and to establish the Rosalind Joel Scholarship for the Performing Arts at City College in New York City.
Having sold more than 100 million records over the past quarter century, Billy Joel ranks as one of most popular recording artists and respected entertainers in the world. He has had 33 Top 40 hits and 23 Grammy nominations since signing his first solo recording contract in 1972. Joel entered the charts for the first time in 1974 with his signature "Piano Man" single and album. "Fantasies & Delusions - Music for Solo Piano," an album of Billy Joel's classical piano pieces released in October 2001, spent 18 weeks at #1 on the Top Classical Albums chart. MOVIN' OUT, Broadway's dance musical conceived, choreographed and directed by Twyla Tharp and based on 30 classic songs by Billy Joel, opened on Broadway to critical and popular acclaim. In 2003, Billy Joel won his first Tony Award for Best Orchestrations.
Joel's Face To Face Tours with Sir Elton John broke box office records around the world. Billboard heralded "Face To Face" as "...the most successful touring package of all time." In 1990, he was presented with a Grammy Legend Award. Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1992, Joel was presented with the Johnny Mercer Award, the organization's highest honor, in 2001. In 1999 he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and has received the Recording Industry Association of America Diamond Award.
Joel has earned three Awards For Cable Excellence and has received numerous ASCAP and BMI awards including the ASCAP Founders Award and the BMI Career Achievement Award and, in 1994, was given the 1994 Billboard Century Award. Among his many other awards and honors, Billy Joel has been given a Doctor of Humane Letters from Fairfield University (1991), a Honorary Doctorate from Berklee College of Music (1993), and a Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Hofstra University (1997) and a Doctor of Music from Southampton College (2000). For his accomplishments as a musician and as a humanitarian, Billy Joel was honored as the 2002 MusiCares Person Of The Year by the MusiCares Foundation and the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences.
On September 20, 2004, Billy Joel received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, adding a new milestone to his extraordinary career.
SOURCE: Columbia Records
CONTACT: Media, Claire Mercuri of Columbia Records, New York,