Alexa Ray Joel

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Alexa Ray Joel
Joel in 2010
Background information
Born (1985-12-29) December 29, 1985 (age 33)
Manhattan, New York, U.S.
OriginManhattan, New York, U.S.
GenresPop, soul, blues, jazz, rock, adult contemporary
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter, pianist
InstrumentsVocals, piano, keyboards
Years active2006–present
LabelsARJ Music
Audio Bee
The Hang Productions Inc.
Associated actsBilly Joel (father)
Christie Brinkley (mother)

Alexa Ray Joel (born December 29, 1985)[1][2][3] is an American singer, songwriter, and pianist. Her parents are singer-songwriter Billy Joel and model Christie Brinkley. Joel released an EP Sketches (2006) and several singles on independent record labels. She has performed at numerous charity events and New York City fashion events.

Early life[edit]

Joel was born in Manhattan, New York,.[1][2] She is the daughter of singer-songwriter Billy Joel and his second wife, model Christie Brinkley.[3][4][5] Her middle name, Ray, honors the musician Ray Charles with whom her father recorded the song "Baby Grand".[6][7] She has a half-brother, Jack Paris Brinkley Cook (né Taubman, born June 2, 1995) and a half-sister, Sailor Lee Brinkley Cook (born July 1, 1998). Both are children of her mother, Christie Brinkley.[8] 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.[9]

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.[10][11] 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.[12] 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.[13]

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."[7] Joel said that by the age of 15, she was finishing complete songs with piano accompaniment, and writing poetry.[7]


In 2005, at age 19, Joel assembled a band[14] and performed her first live show at Maxwell's in Hoboken, New Jersey,[14] In 2006, Joel played nearly 100 shows,[citation needed] including a Hard Rock Cafe tour completed in May 2006.[15]


Joel self-released and independently distributed[16] the six-song EP Sketches in August 2006.[17] Joel explained "It's called Sketches they were raw, often done in one take."[15] Joel designed and illustrated the CD cover, packaging, and inserts that included her handwritten lyrics.[18] Sketches also included a pop/rock cover of Neil Young's "Don't Let It Bring You Down."[18]

After Sketches[edit]

Joel performed at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (April 2007),[19] the 2007 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival (June 2007),[20] and the Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival (September 2007).[21]

Joel in a photo for her 2010 single "Notice Me"

Joel performed onstage with her father during the 2008 Rainforest Foundation Fund Benefit Concert at Carnegie Hall on May 8, 2008.[22] Other charity events at which Joel has performed include the "Save Sag Harbor" benefit concert (2008),[23] the "Stage For The Cure" benefit for pediatric cancer (New York City, 2008),[24] a benefit for "The Art of Elysium" (artists for seriously ill children; The Hamptons, 2009),[25] a benefit for Habitat for Humanity (Long Beach, New York, 2010),[26] the "Right To Play Day" benefit (Sag Harbor, New York, 2010),[27] and the Eric Trump Foundation benefit for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (New York City, 2010).[28] She has also supported animal rights, including the Animal Haven's Speakeasy Bash (New York City, 2012).[29]

Joel and her father performed the song "Baby Grand" at a Barack Obama election fundraiser at the Hammerstein Ballroom on October 16, 2008.[30]

Joel debuted her single "Invisible" on The Wendy Williams Show in October 2009,[31] the song being described as a "piano-driven ballad... about a bad breakup."[32]

Alexa Joel's single, "Notice Me" , released on May 24, 2010,[33] was listed as a "Hit-Bound song" on the Sirius XM Hits 1 satellite radio channel in August 2010.[34] Newsday described the single as having a "carefree braininess" and "bouncy guitar riffs and an instantly hummable chorus" that made Joel's work "sound like Regina Spektor crossed with Katy Perry."[35] "Notice Me" is Joel's first collaboration with producer Tommy Byrnes and her first since signing with Long Beach, New York management company OCD Music Group/The Hang Productions.[35][36] Joel described the "Notice Me" video as using fashion to show both a modern look and a vintage throwback look.[12]

Joel has owned residencies in New York City, including the Oak Room of the Plaza Hotel (late 2010-2011,[37] said to add a "contemporary vibe"[38] to the "storied venue,"[37]) and the Café Carlyle at the Carlyle Hotel (April 2014).[39]


Joel is active in New York fashion events. She performed at Manhattan's "Fashion's Night Out" in 2009 (Elie Tahari),[40] 2010 (Bloomingdale's),[41] and 2011 (Bloomingdale's).[42] Joel interviewed celebrities and designers as a host for social networking website during New York Fashion Week in September 2012[43][44] and February 2013,[45] and she performed at the launch of Bobbi Brown's book Pretty Powerful: Beauty Stories to Inspire Confidence,[46] also appearing with Brown on Today.[47] In 2017, Joel posed for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue along with her mother, Christie Brinkley, and her sister, Sailor Brinkley Cook.[48]

She was on the cover of BELLA magazine's Beauty Issue in 2018.[49]


In February 2010, Joel was chosen the new spokeswoman for Ultimark Products' Prell brand of shampoo, with Joel's songs to serve as background for commercials.[50] New York Post sources said that Joel was persuaded to accept the commercial endorsement contract because of the opportunity to promote her music.[51] Additionally, Joel was said[51] to have liked the idea of succeeding her mother Christie Brinkley, who was the face of Prell in 1986.[50]

In September 2013, Joel became part of The Gap's "Back to Blue" television ad campaign, performing her interpretation of Billy Joel's 1977 song "Just the Way You Are."[52]

Personal life[edit]

On December 5, 2009, Joel ingested an excessive 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").[53] Interviewed six months later by ABC News, Joel described herself as having been "distraught and in so much pain"[54] 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."[54] "The intent was to calm me down because I was having a panic attack."[35]

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,[55] Joel having been "self-conscious of pictures taken from the side."[56] 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".[56]

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.[57] 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.[57] Stating that "I'm not a blond girl with blue eyes and that's fine",[57] she added that Ultimark Products approaching her to be the face of Prell shampoo was a "big confidence booster".[51][57] 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."[57]

In 2013, Joel began dating restaurateur Ryan Gleason.[58] They became engaged on January 1, 2018.[59]



(August 2006) (EP, Audio Bee (label))[60]

  1. The Heart of Me – 5:23
  2. Now its Gone – 3:32
  3. Don't Let it Bring You Down – 3:05
  4. The Revolution Song – 4:17
  5. Resistance – 4:07
  6. Song of Yesterday – 2:53

For All My Days[edit]

(January 2008) (single, Audio Bee (label))[61]

  1. For All My Days – 4:42


(October 2009) (single)[31]

  1. Invisible

Notice Me[edit]

(May 2010) (single,[62] Audio Bee or OCD Music Group/The Hang Productions[35] or ARJ Music[63] (label))

  1. Notice Me – 2:48

"All I Can Do Is Love"[edit]

August 1, 2011 (single, ARJ Music)[63]

  1. All I Can Do Is Love – 3:50

Beg You to Stay[edit]

(November 8, 2011) (single, ARJ Music)[63]

  1. Beg You to Stay – 4:48

Just the Way You Are[edit]

(September 16, 2013) (single)[52]

  1. Just the Way You Are – 4:13


  1. ^ a b Billy Joel, Christie Brinkley have their first child, a girl (WebCite archive), Lexington Herald-Leader (Kentucky, U.S.), article published December 31, 1985. Born "about 11:45 pm Sunday"; December 29 fell on a Sunday in 1985.
  2. ^ a b "Brinkley, Joel Parents of `Uptown Girl'". Los Angeles Times. December 30, 1985. p. 2. The 6½-pound girl, as yet unnamed, was born in a Manhattan hospital at about 11:45 pm Sunday, said the spokeswoman, Geraldine McInerney.
  3. ^ a b "Joel and his `uptown girl' have a girl". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. December 31, 1985. p. A3. Model Christie Brinkley has given her husband – singer-songwriter Billy Joel – something new to sing about, a 6½-pound daughter, a spokesman for the family said Monday.
  4. ^ "Elton John, Billy Joel – New Face 2 Face tour dates for 2009". February 10, 2009. Archived from the original on December 29, 2008. ()
  5. ^ "In Focus: Billy Joel" from photos section of (WebCite archive) showing Joel at the age of two years with parents; photo dated June 27, 1988.
  6. ^ Stout, Gene, "Billy Joel Delivers – Few Surprises," (Seattle Post-Intelligencer), December 3, 1986 (retrieved July 21, 2009) (WebCite archive).
  7. ^ a b c Mrowicki, Matt, "Turning A Fantasy Into A Promising Career" interview (WebCite archive), Chorus and Verse, June 2006.
  8. ^ "Christie Brinkley" model profile (WebCite archive), New York magazine, undated profile was downloaded March 9, 2011.
  9. ^ "Billy Joel Welcomes Baby". Yahoo! News. August 12, 2015. Archived from the original on November 26, 2015.
  10. ^ SHOWBIZ TONIGHT transcript (WebCite archive), CNN, November 17, 2006.
  11. ^ Schlansky, Evan "Alexa Ray Joel: Q&A" (WebCite archive), American Songwriter, May 1, 2007.
  12. ^ a b Ragogna, Mike, "Life Is Good: Conversations With Jason Mraz and Alexa Ray Joel, Plus Alexa's New Video 'Notice Me'" (WebCite archive), The Huffington Post, November 18, 2010.
  13. ^ Joel, Billy, "Billy Joel 'Leningrad' Lyrics" for lyrics (WebCite archive), and "Billy Joel Biography & Timeline" for 1987 concert date (WebCite archive), both from, both downloaded and archived March 26, 2011. More specifically, see "New Billy Joel Q&A – Are The Lyrics To 'Leningrad' A True History, ..." (WebCite archive),, September 7, 2011.
  14. ^ a b Deming, Mark, Biography, All Music Guide, AMG (later AllMusic), presented with attribution to AMG by and without attribution to AMG by (WebCite archive), late 2006.
  15. ^ a b Waddell, Ray, "Like her father, Joel embarks on musician's life" (WebCite archive), Reuters attributing to "Reuters/Billboard," October 22, 2006.
  16. ^ Madison, Tjames (sic), "Alexa Ray Joel 'Sketches' out tour" (WebCite archive), LiveDaily (succeeded by, September 21, 2006.
  17. ^ "Alexa Ray Joel a Strikes Chord of Her Own" (WebCite archive), People magazine, October 8, 2006.
  18. ^ a b Worley, Gail, "Alexa Ray Joel" (WebCite archive), LivingRoomNY interview, after October 16, 2008, performance at Hammerstain Ballroom.
  19. ^ "Billy Joel's Daughter Makes Solo Debut" (WebCite archive), Artistdirect, article published April 25, 2007. Photo: Gallery "53 of 80"
  20. ^ "Schedule" of the 2007 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival (WebCite archive)
  21. ^ Brooks, Albert (photographer), Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival (WebCite archive),, Albany, New York, September 8, 2007.
  22. ^ "In Focus: Billy Joel" from photos section of (WebCite archive), event date: May 8, 2008, Rainforest Foundation Fund benefit.
  23. ^ Tuma, Debbie, "Christie Brinkley, Billy Joel gush as daughter Alexa wows 'em in concert" (WebCite archive), New York Daily News, August 31, 2008.
  24. ^ "GNYC presents M.E.A.N.Y. FEST 2008 kick off Stage For The Cure Benefit for Pediatric Cancer" (WebCite archive), Highline Ballroom (New York), October 2, 2008.
  25. ^ "Alexa Ray Joel and Michelle Trachtenberg" (WebCite archive), InStyle, July 20, 2009.
  26. ^ "Alexa Ray Joel performs in Long Beach" (WebCite archive),, event date June 12, 2010.
  27. ^ Stirling, Jay, "Hamptons Play Day A Success" (WebCite archive), Right to Play website, August 16, 2010, publication date for August 14, 2010, event.
  28. ^ "After Party at Hudson Terrace" (WebCite archive),, September 14, 2010.
  29. ^ Pearson, Jennifer, "Puppy love! Alexa Ray Joel shows her unique sense of style at animal charity bash" (WebCite archive), The Daily Mail, published December 6, 2012, regarding December 5 event.
  30. ^ Rush, George and Hutchinson, Bill. "Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel headline Barack Obama midtown cash bash" (WebCite archive), New York Daily News, October 17, 2008.
  31. ^ a b Web pages from "Alexa Ray Joel" (WebCite Archive) with embedded October 21, 2009, "WendyWilliamsShow" YouTube video (WebCite archive) of Joel's debut vocal performance of "Invisible"; and Alexa Ray Joel Is Not “Invisible” (WebCite archive) (flash player) vocal performance of "Invisible"; and "Invisible" (WebCite archive) includes video of Joel explaining story behind "Invisible."
  32. ^ Gamboa, Glenn. "LI Sound: Alexa Ray Joel's 'Invisible' is strong intro" (WebCite archive),, October 30, 2009.
  33. ^ "Alexa Ray Joel’s New Beau" (WebCite archive),, June 22, 2010.
  34. ^ See voting box at right side of page at Webcite archive of website, archived on August 8, 2010.
  35. ^ a b c d Gamboa, Glenn. "Long Island Sound: Taking notice of Alexa Ray Joel" (WebCite archive),, June 10, 2010.
  36. ^ The ocdmusicgroup website "The Hang Productions" (WebCite archive), "About Us" tab and "Artists" tab.
  37. ^ a b Gamboa, Glenn. "Review: Alexa Ray Joel @ The Oak Room, 1.10.11" (WebCite archive),, January 11, 2011.
  38. ^ Gallagher, Brian Thomas. "Midtown Girl: Alexa Ray Joel Goes Ahead with Her Own Life at The Plaza's Oak Room" (WebCite archive), The New York Observer, January 4, 2011.
  39. ^ Holden, Stephen (April 2, 2014). "A Singer Confidently Following Her Heart". The New York Times. Archived from the original on April 6, 2014.
  40. ^ Pascoe, Jessie. "Fashion's Night Out 2009 – A guide to navigating the evening's boutique bacchanalia" (WebCite archive), MetroMix, published September 3, 2009.
  41. ^ Kalikow, Liat, "The Top 11 Musical Moments At Fashion's Night Out" (WebCite archive),, September 11, 2010.
  42. ^ Amodio, Joseph V. "Alexa Ray Joel loves Bloomie's" (WebCite archive), Newsday, September 9, 2011.
  43. ^ "Alexa Ray Joel Hits New York Fashion Week" (WebCite archive), Live Trading News, September 6, 2012.
  44. ^ Ruggiero, Nina, "Alexa Ray Joel says she wants her own identity" (WebCite archive), Newsday, September 13, 2012.
  45. ^ "Alexa Ray Joel Playing Host Again For The Style And Social Network" (WebCite archive), PapierDoll, February 12, 2013.
  46. ^ Rodulfo, Kristina, "Inside Bobbi Brown's Book Launch Party for Pretty Powerful" (WebCite archive), Harper's Bazaar, September 21, 2012.
  47. ^ "Bobbi Brown, Alexa Ray Joel celebrate inner beauty" (WebCite archive), MSN, September 27, 2012.
  48. ^ Jensen, Erin (February 8, 2017). "Christie Brinkley, 63, makes splash in 'Sports Illustrated' Swimsuit Issue". USA Today. Retrieved April 15, 2019.
  49. ^ "BELLA New York - May/June 2018 The Beauty Issue". Issuu. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  50. ^ a b Gamboa, Glenn (Newsday), "Alexa Ray Joel becoming Prell shampoo spokeswoman" (WebCite archive), Boston Herald, February 24, 2010.
  51. ^ a b c "Alexa Ray Joel locks just like her mom" (WebCite archive), New York Post, February 22, 2010.
  52. ^ a b Gamboa, Glenn (September 16, 2013). "Alexa Ray Joel tackles 'Just the Way You Are' for Gap". Newsday.
  53. ^ Gaskell, Stephanie. "Nearly impossible to overdose on drug – Traumeel – that Alexa Ray Joel took", New York Daily News, December 7, 2009 (WebCite archive).
  54. ^ a b Launier, Kimberly, and Escobedo, Monica, "Alexa Ray Joel Opens New Chapter With New Album" (online article with embedded video),, June 17, 2010 (WebCite archives of p. 1 of article and full article text). Related YouTube video "Alexa Ray Joel Opens Up" (WebCite archive) was posted to YouTube channel "ABCNews" on June 16, 2010.
  55. ^ Hamm, Liza, "Alexa Ray Joel: 'I Hit Rock Bottom'" article (WebCite archive), People magazine, May 17, 2010, which was linked from the "Press" tab (WebCite archive of 2010-08-19) of Joel's website.
  56. ^ a b "Alexa Ray Joel Nose Job" (WebCite archive), Huffington Post, April 28, 2010.
  57. ^ a b c d e Cuomo, Christopher (interviewer), "Alexa Ray Joel Sings an Upbeat Song" online video of ABC News 20/20 television broadcast (WebCite archive), June 18, 2010, which was linked from the "Press" tab (WebCite archive of 2010-08-19) of Joel's website.
  58. ^ "Decked Out: Singer Alexa Ray Joel's Old Hollywood-Meets-Bohemian Glamour". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
  59. ^ "Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley's Daughter Alexa Ray Joel Is Engaged — See Her (Huge!) Ring". People. Retrieved January 1, 2017.
  60. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas, "Sketches Review" (WebCite archive), includes track listing.
  61. ^ (WebCite archive) listing for For All My Days.
  62. ^ Thomas, Devon, Alexa Ray Joel Takes to Howard Stern To Promote "Notice Me" (WebCite archive), CBS News, July 15, 2010.
  63. ^ a b c WebCite archive (2012-01-01) of music search website (search results for "Alexa Ray Joel" under 'Artist' category).

External links[edit]