See Billy Joel & Christie Brinkley's Daughter, Who's a Singer-Songwriter
Alexa Ray Joel just released a new song about her fiancé.
Billy Joel has been entertaining audiences as a solo artist for 50 years and gifted songs like "Piano Man" and "Uptown Girl" to the canon. His second and now ex-wife, Christie Brinkley, became one of the world's most famous supermodels in the late '70s, before they got together, and is still acting, modeling, and running businesses today. While the famous couple called it quits in 1994, after nine years of marriage, they're forever linked by their daughter, Alexa Ray Joel, who is following in her father's footsteps. The 35-year-old singer-songwriter, who has been releasing music professionally for 15 years, dropped her newest single a few months ago. To hear more about Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley's daughter, her music career, and her relationship with her successful parents, read on.
Alexa Ray dropped her first EP when she was 20.
Alexa Ray's first professional release, a six-song EP called Sketches, was released in 2006. While she hasn't recorded a full studio album, the artist has released a handful of singles over the years and performed at events and in residencies at some jazzy New York City venues, including the Oak Room and Club Carlyle. In 2013, Alexa Ray covered her father's love song, "Just the Way You Are," for a GAP campaign. She shared her latest single, "Seven Years," with fans this April and also performed it live on Today.
Her new release is a deeply personal song to Alexa Ray. Speaking to Newsday's The Buzz shortly after the single dropped, she explained that she wrote it for her anniversary with her fiancé of three years, restauranteur Ryan Gleason. She told Billboard that they were both very emotional the first time she shared the song, which is about the ups and downs of a long-term relationship, with her partner.
"So he started crying and then I started tearing up, of course," Alexa Ray said. "We always slow-dance together in the kitchen; it's like a little tradition for us. 'Seven Years' is essentially a love letter to him and New York City, which is where we met."
She also explained to Billboard that "Seven Years" sounds like it could be a musical theater ballad because her parents instilled in her a love of Broadway and that she has "a ton of material in the works" for a future album.
Her parents are "above and beyond supportive" of her music.
With a rockstar dad and supermodel mom, Alexa Ray comes from creative family. And both of her parents have been behind her career choices. "They really always knew that I loved music and the performing arts," Alexa Ray explained to The Buzz. "And they were just above and beyond supportive. Growing up, I thought I was the star."
Her parents have different approaches to encouraging their daughter, however. Billy tries to let her "do her own thing" as an artist, Alexa Ray said, but is still there. "My dad is very low-key and is always like, 'I don't want to be the show father and be annoying and be up in your face, but let me know if you need any advice,'" she continued. "He'll email me a good review."
Brinkley is more hands on. If Alexa Ray needs help setting up for her virtual press meetings, for example, her mom is there, "front and center." The singer-songwriter appreciates that her mom and dad balance each other out in that way.
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Alexa calls her dad a "musical encyclopedia."
Unsurprisingly, Alexa Ray's dad has taught and continues to teach her a lot about music, and is a big influence on her as well. "He's like a musical encyclopedia," she told Fox News Magazine in July 2015. "And I learned about embracing all different genres, as opposed to just getting attached to one."
Billy is not only supportive of her career, he also believes wholeheartedly that she'll be successful. "He feels so confident in me, that it's almost strange to me that he's that confident in me," Alexa Ray added. "He doesn't worry. He's not a stage father. He's very laidback."
Alexa Ray and her dad have performed together multiple times, including her 2018 appearance at one of his shows during his Madison Square Garden residency.
Alexa Ray has also modeled with her mom.
Alexa posed for the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated in 2017, alongside her mom and half-sister, Sailor Brinkley Cook. They did another photoshoot together this past May for a Mother's Day NYDJ campaign. And while Alexa Ray doesn't model full-time, she's learned a lot about the profession from her mom.
"It also reminds me of how we have more in common than sometimes I realize," Alexa Ray told Entertainment Tonight about working with her mom and sister. "Like, we all do, as I guess Mom taught us, tricks at the posing, the laughing thing. So when we smile, to smile naturally, we all giggle a little bit."
The singer-songwriter looks up to Brinkley for more than just her modeling skills. "She's multi-talented," Alexa Ray explained. "She has beautiful penmanship as well. Like, I actually tried to copy her cursive because it's so good. She's very, very, very artistic, and she instilled that in me."