Alexa Ray Joel is an American singer, songwriter, and pianist. Her parents are singer-songwriter Billy Joel and model Christie Brinkley. Joel released an EP Sketches and several singles on independent record labels. She has performed at numerous charity events and New York City fashion events.
Born Name Alexa Ray Joel
Occupation Singer songwriter pianist
Years active 2006–present
Born: March 30 1996, 36 years old and 11 months , Manhattan, New York, United States
Height 1.57 m
Instrument(s): Vocals; piano; keyboards
Joel was born on December 29, 1985, in Manhattan, New York. She is the daughter of singer-songwriter Billy Joel and his second wife, model Christie Brinkley. Her middle name, Ray, honors the musician Ray Charles with whom her father recorded the song “Baby Grand”. She has a half-brother, Jack Paris Brinkley (né Taubman, born June 2, 1995) and a half-sister, Sailor Brinkley Cook (born July 1, 1998). Both are children of her mother, Christie Brinkley. She also has two half-sisters on her father’s side named Della Rose (born August 12, 2015), and Remy Anne (born October 22, 2017) born to Joel’s fourth wife, Alexis.
Her father, Billy Joel, wrote his 1993 song “Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)” for her. It is her self-proclaimed favorite song that he has written. His 1989 song “The Downeaster Alexa” bears the title of a boat he named after her, but is about the struggles of Long Island fishermen. Joel is also referenced in her father’s 1989 song “Leningrad” (with lyrics: “…He made my daughter laugh, then we embraced…”), in which “He” refers to a Russian man who became a circus clown after being in the Red Army.
Joel is known for her melodic song writing, and has noted that her musical upbringing gave her a “unique inside-peek into the songwriting process,” and that “It’s no wonder I write music in the same way (my father) does: melody first, and lyrics second.” Joel said that by the age of 15, she was finishing complete songs with piano accompaniment, and writing poetry.
On December 5, 2009, Joel ingested a large quantity of Traumeel, a homeopathic alternative to ibuprofen. Joel is reported to have taken “several pills”; an NYU Medical Center toxicologist said the drug has “no active ingredient” and indicated that it was essentially impossible to overdose (“basically you’d be taking more of nothing”). Interviewed six months later by ABC News, Joel described herself as having been “distraught and in so much pain” after the end of a four-year romantic relationship but not wanting to bother anyone since it was the holiday season. “I wasn’t trying to kill myself. I was panicked. I was not thinking clearly at all. I was in so much pain and I just wanted to numb it.” “The intent was to calm me down because I was having a panic attack.”
Joel told People magazine that her April 2010 nose job came after five years of consideration, and was to correct a deviated septum and to feel better about herself, Joel having been “self-conscious of pictures taken from the side.” Joel explained that her surgery waited until she “was in a better place” than at the time of her Traumeel incident four months earlier, further stating that she is “done with plastic surgery”.
In a July 2010 interview with 20/20, Joel talked about “moving out of (the) shadows” of her “two megastar parents” and about recovery from her December 2009 crisis with depression. While she acknowledged that it had been “scary” to be “compared to a rock and roll legend”, her confidence was said to be “helped along by a wider acceptance” by others. Stating that “I’m not a blond girl with blue eyes and that’s fine”, she added that Ultimark Products approaching her to be the face of Prell shampoo was a “big confidence booster”. Describing overcoming the relationship dependence that triggered her December 2009 Traumeel incident, she said: “I’ve got to get a new band, whole new songs, whole new career plan. Everything changed after that incident.”
In 2013, Joel began dating restaurateur Ryan Gleason.They became engaged on January 1, 2018. As of 2021, the wedding was postponed due to the pandemic.