Billy Joel drummer files NY lawsuit over royalties

By | May 25, 2009 at 10:06 AM

A former drummer for Billy Joel claims the Grammy Award-winning singer of hits including “Uptown Girl ” and “Movin’ Out” has stiffed him out of royalties for years.

Liberty DeVitto has filed a lawsuit in Manhattan’s state Supreme Court demanding Joel pay him overdue royalties. DeVitto, 58, says he was Joel’s drummer from 1975 to 2005 and helped the piano man craft some of his biggest albums.

DeVitto’s lawyer says he doesn’t know how much his client is owed. He says Joel’s sales are subject to an audit.

DeVitto says he is working as a studio musician and teaching to support his family.

Joel has sold more than 100 million records worldwide. His spokeswoman has not returned a telephone message seeking comment.