Long Island's answer to Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel fashioned his image as a hometown boy turned superstar over the course of 25 years of hard work. Born in 1949, he dropped out of high school to follow his love of music. Starting out as a lounge pianist Joel finally decided to go it on his own as a singer and songwriter. He unknowingly signed a lifetime contract with the financially struggling Family Productions and recorded the album Cold Spring Harbor in 1971. After hearing a live version of the song "Captain Jack" on the radio, Columbia Records bought out Joel's contract and shortly after released his 1973's Piano Man. 1978's 52nd Street, notable for rock-edged singles like "My Life" and "Big Shot." It earned Joel a Grammy Award for Album of the Year (1980) and was also his first No. 1 album. Now ridng the wave of stardom, Joel released the new-wave influenced Glass Houses in 1980, producing a second No. 1 album and earning another Grammy, this one for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male. In 1989, Joel released the decidedly different Storm Front, scoring several major hits, including "We Didn't Start the Fire" a tongue-twisting history lesson. He made an easy transition into the '90s with River of Dreams that cemented Joel's success as an enduring chart-topper. Billy continues to tour and sell out arenas and is certainly nothing less than one of America’s most successful musical treasures.