Billy Joel Book Cancelled — “Piano Man” Opts Out Of Memoir Deal

About that Billy Joel autobiography…Never mind! It seems “The Piano Man” — remembered for writing hits such as “Just the Way You Are” and “New York State of Mind” — doesn’t want to tell all after all.

After some soul-searching, Joel has decided not to move forward with writing his memoir — The Book of Joel – HarperCollins Publishers said Thursday. The book, billed as an “emotional ride” that would detail the rock star’s three failed marriages and his battles with substance abuse, had been set for publication in June and promised to contain details Joel “has never revealed before.” HarperCollins even released a cover photograph of the book, a moody close-up of Joel taken in the 1990s.

That all changed this afternoon, when Billy, 61, abruptly announced that he’s changed his mind.

It is a man’s prerogative, right?

“It took working on writing a book to make me realize that I’m not all that interested in talking about the past, and that the best expression of my life and its ups and downs has been and remains my music,” the award-winning singer said in a brief statement.

HarperCollins rep Tina Andreadis tells The Associated Press that while Joel turned in a finished manuscript, none of the 250,000 copies planned for the book’s first printing actually made it to hard copy.

Joel, the third best-selling solo artist in the nation, battled substance abuse and depression throughout his career and garnered media attention with his high-profile romances. After divorcing his business manager, Elizabeth Weber Small, he was married to supermodel Christie Brinkley from 1985 to 1994, though the two remain on friendly terms since the split. They had one daughter together, singer Alexa Ray Joel, now 25. In 2004, the Grammy winner married for the third time to former Top Chef host Katie Lee. That marriage also ended in divorce amid rumors that Lee, more than 30 years Joel’s junior, was having an affair with Israeli fashion designer Yigal Azrouel.

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