Sinatra in the News: Billy Joel singer surprised an assembly full of students at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in the borough of Queens (NYC) on Thursday, appearing with Tony Bennett, who opened the school in 2001 through his Exploring the Arts program.
Joel performed songs on two different pianos onstage — he sang “New York State of Mind” on one and “She’s Got a Way” on the other. In between his performances, he answered questions from students.
The first: “What do you think is one of your biggest mistakes?”
“My biggest mistake was signing a lot of contracts that I didn’t know what they were about,” said Joel, who released his first album in 1971. “I signed away a lot of my rights — record royalties, publishing rights, copyrights and it took me years to get that stuff back.”
One male student asked for a hug as the audience cheered on, another had the 64-year-old sign his yearbook and a young girl got an autograph for her mother.
The crowd of 400 students brought a playful side out of Joel, who was lively with the students.
When asked who his favorite collaborator was, the Grammy winner answered: “Probably Elle Macpherson. That was a good collaboration,” he said of the Australian model he dated in the 1980s. Click to read the complete article.