Christie Brinkley: Decades Later, She’s Still Billy Joel’s ‘Uptown Girl’By: Val Powell - August 12, 2014
Christie Brinkley will always be Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl”. Joel sang the 1983 hit song during his Madison Square Garden concert last Thursday, where Brinkley was among the audience in the front row.
Flashback circa 1980s: (people still wore baggy pants and teased their hair.) Joel was an accomplished musician dating supermodel Elle Macpherson who, according to some reports, was the sole inspiration for Uptown Girl. Other reports claim Uptown Girl was really inspired by several uptown girls: including Macpherson, fellow supermodel Brinkley and singer Whitney Houston.
The Joel-Macpherson relationship was short lived and was over when the time came to shoot the music video. Joel had then gotten chummy with Brinkley and opted to feature her in the vid. Brinkley is also an accomplished dancer and was said to have walked Joel through his choreography for the vid.
Joel and Brinkley stayed together and got married in 1985, which further strengthened Brinkley’s Uptown Girl image. The couple later had a daughter, singer Alex Ray Joel, now 28 years old.
The marriage, however, didn’t last and the two parted ways in 1994 in a divorce that affected Joel so much that he removed the song Uptown Girl from his setlist for a concert during that period.
Fast forward to present day:
Joel, now 65 and wiser, has apparently put the past behind him and seems to be on good terms with Brinkley. Brinkley was clearly having a good time at Joel’s concert, smiling and dancing along. Joel documented his ex-wife’s night at his concert by asking his camera crew to direct their cameras at her. Brinkley later on responded with a compliment on Instagram with the post: “He’s still got it!”
Vanity Fair writes: “. . . The song and its inevitable association with his marriage has, at times, been a sore subject for Joel. . . But he seemed to have put all that behind him…”
This is a real step forward considering Joel was still notably sensitive about the subject last year when New York Times quoted him as saying that he enjoys teaching up and coming musicians as long as they “don’t ask me about what happened with Christie and Uptown Girl.”
Billy Joel: ‘Uptown Girl’
Image via christiebrikley, Instagram