(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) —
Billy Joel will launch his first solo major concert tour in nearly seven years beginning with concerts in Florida in January. A handful of additional dates have been released while a full national tour itinerary is TBA.
The new Joel tour dates mark the first major solo concert performances since his fabled 1998-99 run, which, over the course of 64 shows, played to 1.1 million fans while grossing $47 million, according to Billboard Boxscore.
Since 1999, Joel's major concert appearances have been on double bills shared with Elton John. Together, they created the most lucrative co- headlining duo of all time. Last touring together in 2003, Billy and Elton grossed $46 million from just 24 dates.
Coinciding with Joel's upcoming tour, Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings is preparing the release of My Lives, a lavish five disc (4 CDs + 1 DVD) box-set chronicling the musical evolution of Joel, from his early 60s Long Island bar bands through his biggest hits to his most recent classical compositions. My Lives will be in stores on November 22.
My Lives is the first Joel collection to explore the entirety of his career through rarely-heard and highly-collectible material. With a track selection overseen by Joel, My Lives provides new and surprising insights into the artist's creative process. A veritable treasure trove for Joel fans, My Lives brings together rare demos and revelatory alternate takes from all phases of the artist's career, high-octane live performances and his covers of songs by some of his favorite artists including Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, Brian Wilson, Leonard Cohen and others.
In addition to four CDs worth of rare Joel music, My Lives includes "Live From The River Of Dreams," a DVD of him performing some of his biggest hits live in Frankfurt, Germany on June 18, 1994.
As part of his long-term commitment to music education, Joel has recently launched an ongoing initiative to provide gifts of seed money, musical scholarships, and endowments to a variety of East Coast colleges, universities, and music schools.
Billy Joel itinerary:
January 10 Jacksonville, FL Veteran's Memorial Arena
January 12 Tampa, FL St. Pete Times Forum
January 19 Boston, MA TD Bank North Garden
January 23 New York, NY Madison Square Garden
March 7 Philadelphia, PA Wachovia Center
April 8 Las Vegas, NV MGM
–Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen