Billy Joel Wrote ‘Uptown Girl’ About Elle MacPherson But His Next Supermodel Girlfriend Ended Up in the Music Video

Singers and songwriters source inspiration for their songs in unobvious places. Although many have found inspiration from their natural surroundings, some turn their love turned sour moments into great hits.

Billy Joel is famously known for finding inspiration from his failed marriages. The celebrity singer famously wrote ‘Uptown Girl’ for one of his supermodel girlfriends, but another girlfriend ended up starring in the hit song.

Who is Billy Joel

Billy Joel
Billy Joel | John Lamparski/WireImage

Billy Joel was born in Bronx, New York, in 1949, as William Martin Joel. Growing up, his mother insisted that he takes piano lessons. The singer attended Hicksville High School but dropped out to pursue music full-time. At the time, he had already secured a gig playing in a local bar, he used his earnings to support his mother, who was taking care of the family.

Joel credits Elvis Presley, The Beatles, and TheEverly Brothers for his music. He played in two short-lived bands called Attila and The Hassles. In 1972, Joel signed a solo record deal and began his solo career with Cold Springs Harbor release.

After performing Captain Jack on radio, Columbia Records noticed him and signed him on, prompting the release of The Piano Man in 1973. The album The Stranger was perhaps his commercially successful albums.

The album sold more than 10 million copies and became Columbia Record’s best-selling album. The Stranger consisted of songs such as Only the Good Die Young, Just the Way You Are, and She’s Always a Woman.

Joel might be a successful musician, but he hasn’t had a lot of luck in his relationships

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Joel met his first wife, Elizabeth Weber Small, through his first band Attila. At the time, Weber was married to Joel’s music partner in the group Attila Jon Small when she and Joel began their affair. When the truth about their affair came out, she briefly ended her relationship with both men.

Joel and Weber got married in 1973, and Weber began managing his career. The two stayed married for nine years until calling it quits on July 20, 1982. Shortly after his marriage to Weber ended, Joel decided to take a break from everything.

He went on vacation in St Bart’s, and while playing at a local bar, he met supermodels Elle MacPherson and his future wife, Christie Brinkley.

Joel was shocked by the fact that two supermodels Brinkley and MacPherson, were interested in him. He briefly dated MacPherson, but he eventually married Brinkley. Brinkley and Joel got married in 1985. The two, however, got divorced in 1984 due to the distance and Joel’s tours.

Joel married a third time tying the knot with 23-year-old Katie Lee in October 2004. The couple separated in 2009 after five years in marriage. In 2009, Joel met Alexis Roderick, and the two got married in 2015.

Billy Joel’s former relationships inspired some of his hit songs

Leave it to Billy Joel to turn heartache into a major tune. When he was married to Weber, he wrote songs such as She’s Always a Woman and She’s Got a Way. He also wrote the song Just the Way You Are for her.

When he was with Brinkley, he was inspired to write An Innocent Man, and This Is the Time for her. His brief romance with supermodel MacPherson however, inspired his hugely successful hit Uptown Girl. At the time, he had written the song in plural Uptown Girls to detail his relationships with the women who had been in his life.

However, he ended up rewriting it to singularity for MacPherson. When the song’s music video came out, Brinkley starred as the lead actress, and so everyone thought the song was about her. The truth of the matter is that the song was initially meant for MacPherson, but by the time he shot the music video, he was already dating Brinkley, and thus it came to be.