How Did Billy Joel Aquire His Insane Fortune Even After Losing Over $30 Million To His Manager
New-York based composer and songwriter Billy ‘Piano Man’ Joel was born in New York City in 1949, and he grew up in Long Island. He took piano lessons growing up, and he decided to drop out of high school to pursue a career in music. Before starting his solo career in 1971, he joined two short-lived bands named ‘Attila’ and ‘The Hassles.’
After agreeing with Columbia Records and becoming popular in Philadelphia, he released his second studio album, the title of which later became his nickname, ‘Piano Man.’ The album sold 4 million copies in America and peaked at No. 27 on the ‘US Billboard 200’ list.
During his 56-year-long career, he released thirteen studio albums and managed to win six Grammy Awards, including ‘Album of The Year’ with ’52nd Street’ and ‘Song of the Year’ with ‘Just The Way You Are.’
Why Did The Piano Man Lose All Of His Money In 1989?
Despite having a remarkable career, Billy experienced many ups and downs during his lifetime. In 1989, he sued his former manager and brother-in-law, Frank Weber, for $90 million, accusing him of fraudulent behavior, federal racketeering, breaching his financial duty and contract. Joel called for $60 million for punitive damages and $30 million for compensatory damages.
According to the 83-page lawsuit, The Piano Man alleged that Frank took $10 million from Billy and invested in his ways to benefit his own companies. The case also included the accusations that Frank was double-billing him for the music videos, hotel expenses, travel, and more.
However, things did not end up well for Billy. Since Weber had one of the most famous lawyers named Daniel A. Gecker, he managed to get away with almost every charge. Ultimately, Billy’s former manager filed for bankruptcy, and the whole lawsuit fell apart. After the court, The Piano Man settled for just $8 million in damages.
According to the statements of Weber’s lawyer, who had represented other stars as Bruce Springsteen, Bee Gees, and Eddie Murphy earlier, the whole thing was an effort to avoid paying Frank’s royalties on the upcoming LP and tour, and the only way to do it was by claiming fraudulency and making these accusations.
Even though Billy lost almost everything in 1989, the 23-time Grammy-nominated star is still one of the best-selling musicians in rock history. According to the recent numbers, he sold over 150 million copies worldwide, and he has a net worth of $225 million.