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EntertainmentMusicBilly Joel

As Billy Joel's '52nd Street' turns 42, that many reasons why LI loves him

Billy Joel's "52nd Street" was released in October

Billy Joel's "52nd Street" was released in October 1978. Credit: Alamy Stock Photo/CBW / Alamy Stock Photo

Billy Joel's landmark album "52nd Street" was released 42 years ago this week. The album, which contained such classics as "My LIfe," "Big Shot" and "Honesty," would go on to become his first LP to hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts. To celebrate this auspicious occasion, here are 42 reasons why we love Billy Joel:

1. He's stayed on Long Island.

2. His longtime support and advocacy for LI's baymen.

3. He donated $1 million to the Long Island High School for the Arts in Syosset, which allowed the school to stay open.

4. His Madison Square Garden residency, going strong for 6 years. We can't wait for the shows to start again next year.

5. He closed the old Coliseum in 2015.

6. He opened the new Coliseum in 2017.

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7. The 1987 USSR tour, which helped thaw the Cold War.

8. Last Play at Shea (2008)

9. No one doesn't know the lyrics to "Piano Man."

10. "We Didn't Start the Fire" is the best history lesson ever.

11. He references Manhasset's "Miracle Mile" in "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me."

12. "The Stranger"

13. Alexa Ray

14. Della Rose

15. Remy Anne

16. He got his diploma 25 years after dropping out of Hicksville High.

17. The Concert for New York City at MSG, which honored first responders a few weeks after the 9/11 attacks.

19. The 12-12-12 concert, for superstorm Sandy relief.

20. His 2013 surprise concert at The Paramount in Huntingtin to benefit Long Island Cares.

21. He returned to Hicksville High School 50 years after his would-be graduating class received their diplomas, to speak.

22. He is the only performer to have played both Yankee and Shea Stadiums, Giants Stadium, Madison Square Garden and both old and new Nassau Coliseum.

23. He's had basically the same road crew for the last 40 years.

24. He's had basically the same band for the last 25 years.

25. He thought Mike DelGuidice's tribute to him was so good that he put him in his band.

26. Everybody knows someone like Brenda and Eddie.

27. His annual motorcycle ride with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo for charity.

28. 20th Century Cycles, his store in Oyster Bay.

29. He was a guest on David Letterman's first "Late Show" on CBS in 1993.

30. His frank interviews with Howard Stern.

31. His impersonations, especially of Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett.

32. He never opted for wearing a hairpiece.

33. Christie Brinkley's starring role in the "Uptown Girl" video.

34. Billy's line-dancing in that same video.

35. He has remained very good friends with Christie since their divorce..

36. He named his first album after a town on Long Island (Cold Spring Harbor).

37. He name-checked Oyster Bay in "Billy the Kid."

38. He hired Lynbrook's Tommy Byrnes as his guitarist and musical director.

39. His "Live from Long Island" (taped in 1982 at Nassau Coliseum) was HBO's first concert.

40. His 1986 duet with Ray Charles "Baby Grand"

41. He put his own Cove Neck home on the cover of "Glass Houses."

42. He gave an impromptu concert on a discarded piano he saw lying in a Huntington street.

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