Billy Joel Released From Hospital

By | January 27, 2003 at 12:00 AM

“Piano Man” Billy Joel was hospitalized for several hours early Sunday after smashing his car into a tree along a highway on far eastern Long Island.

A hospital spokesman confirmed that the singer was released Sunday morning but would not comment on Joel’s injuries.

The 53-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer had swerved into the tree as he was driving his Mercedes-Benz in Sag Harbor late Saturday, Sag Harbor Village Police Chief Thomas Fabiano said.

No charges were filed, police Officer Hugh Caulfield said Sunday. Joel wasn’t given a Breathalyzer test, which measures blood alcohol levels, he said.

Joel was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital, where a hospital spokesman said he arrived around midnight and was released around 7:30 a.m.

Joel has had more than two dozen Top Ten hits in his career, including his signature 1974 song “Piano Man.” His music, including the title song “Movin’ Out,” is currently the subject of a Broadway musical.

Last summer, he voluntarily checked into a substance abuse and psychiatric center at New Canaan, Conn., reportedly after becoming “very depressed” when a respiratory infection forced him to cut short a tour with fellow piano player Elton John.

He told People magazine in July that he had begun “what I ultimately realized was a prolonged period of overindulgence. I don’t want to get any more specific.”

Joel was also involved in a motorcycle accident on Long Island in 1983. He and model Christie Brinkley have one daughter, Alexa Ray. The couple divorced in 1994.

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