Billy Joel

With six Grammys to his name and having sold hundreds of millions of records worldwide, Billy Joel has a pedigree that's impossible to ignore. And time seems to have done little to dampen public enthusiasm for his oeuvre: Friday's kickoff gig at the Seminole Hard Rock begins not two, not three, but six total dates at the venue through February.Although he's known primarily for crafting shamelessly catchy pop melodies with an ear for the British Invasion and a fondness for the pomp and balladry of classic show tunes, Joel is no one-trick pony. In 1980, he turned in Glass Houses, which was home to the classic bad-boy swagger of "You May Be Right." Even so, the record did little to change the public perception of Joel as a soft-rock impresario. In fact, the deftly woven hooks and straightforward melodic lines still resonate as some of the most polished pop ever put to tape. Despite his efforts to convince the world otherwise, Joel was then and always will be the Piano Man. And that's not a bad thing: We're all in the mood for a melody.

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Nicholas Hall