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Billy Joel Reveals To Howard Stern That He Paid His Band Members Full Salary Throughout The Pandemic, Explains Why He Has Not Yet Sold His Music Catalog

Oct. 28 2021, Published 5:30 p.m. ET

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Billy Joel made sure that the people that help him make music were well taken care of while live shows were shut down during the Coronavirus pandemic.

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During an interview with Howard Stern for SiriusXM’s The Howard Stern Show — the legendary musician told the shock jock that while many were left unemployed by the shut down — he made sure that all members of his band were financially stable during the months off.

“I did pay them full salary for a year,” Joel told Stern during the chat. “I have a great band, I’m so happy to have them on stage … I don’t do as many gigs as I used to do … back in the day when I had some money issues, I wasn’t able to take care of the band the same way I am now."

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The "Piano Man" explained that it was important that he repaid the group of musicians for sticking with him all these years later. "I wasn’t able to compensate them…and I wanted to take care of the band," Joel added.

Stern asked the singer-songwriter — who he has been friends with for many years — why he has not yet sold his song catalog like many other famous artists do. “I think of my songs as my kids,” Joel said to his pal.

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“I went through a pregnancy and a labor with these songs. I remember how hard I worked on them and I don’t necessarily want to give that permission away for how my kids are utilized," the 72-year-old explained.

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Joel — who is married to Alexis Roderick with whom he shares daughters Della Rose Joel, 6, and Remy Anne Joel, 4, — did say that he would not rule out the option completely.

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“I don’t know who would pay that, but if somebody came to me with a billion dollars, what am I going to do? Say no?,” the Grammy Award-winner joked. “I’m from Levittown.”

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