Billy Joel became the first nonclassical musician to be inducted into Steinway Hall Monday, as a painting of the Piano Man was unveiled at the midtown Manhattan showroom.

Joel's portrait -- painted by artist Paul Wyse, whose work is part of the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian -- shows him in his Centre Island home next to his piano, wearing one of his favorite leather jackets.

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"Recently I was going to wear that jacket out to dinner with my girlfriend and she said, 'Are you going to wear that Members Only jacket? . . . They went out in the '80s,' " Joel said, telling Wyse, "So I'm glad you have my arms folded over the Members Only logo."

The permanent placement of Joel's portrait in the piano maker Steinway & Sons gallery, which includes Franz Liszt, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Arthur Rubinstein has not yet been finalized.

Monday, it hung next to a portrait of classical virtuoso pianist Vladimir Horowitz, one of Joel's idols, which thrilled him.


"I saw Vladimir Horowitz walking across the street once," said Joel. "I had long hair and a black leather jacket, and I said, 'Maestro!' and he thought I was gonna mug him. He kinda ran away, so this is the closest I've been to him since then."