Billy Joel paid his band members 'full salary' during thecoronavirus pandemic

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Billy Joel credit:Bang Showbiz
Billy Joel credit:Bang Showbiz

Billy Joel paid his band members "full salary" during the coronavirus pandemic.

The 'Uptown Girl' hitmaker made the decision to pay his band their full salary for an entire year whilst many other musicians were left unable to work due to the COVID-19 crisis because he's in a better position to "take care" of them than he would have been years ago.

He said: "I did pay them full salary for a year. 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."

Unlike many other artists, Billy - who has daughter Alexa, 35, with second wife Christie Brinkley and Della, six, and Remy, four, with his current wife, fourth spouse Alexis Roderick - hasn't sold the rights to his back catalogue and he explained he hasn't done so because he thinks of his songs as his "kids".

Speaking on SiriusXM’s 'The Howard Stern Show', he said: "I think of my songs as my kids. I went through a pregnancy and a labour 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 utilised."

However, the 72-year-old singer joked he could be tempted to change his mind if the price was right.

He said: "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? I'm from Levittown!"

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