Alexa Ray Joel Opens New Chapter With New Album

Billy Joel's sound, thunderous and lyrically confidant, has made him a global phenomenon with more than 100 million albums sold. In 1999 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Alexa's voice is softer, more earnest. Her album is a young woman's ode to the turmoil of her first love, as well as its addictive thrills.

"And then here was this older, talented musician, you know, all over me, and I was like 'Oh, guys like me, they find me attractive,'" Joel said. "Oh my God, I really was that naïve. And so, love is, love is addictive, I mean love, love ... love can be a crazy thing."

VIDEO: Alexa Ray Joel is hospitalized after apparent suicide attempt.

She was a teenager when she fell in love with her band's bass player, Jimmy Riot.

"I met him when I was 19, he was 34. I started to feel like a woman through him," she said. "It was my first big romance. My career, my sexuality, as a woman, I associated with him."

After four years together, Alexa was devastated when their relationship ended.

"He wanted me out of the apartment. He basically kicked me out, You never get over that experience, being kicked out of your home," Joel said. "I was crying every day for two years straight after that and, I was in denial, I was like, 'No, he didn't do that. This didn't happen.' It's, it's like a form of... you're not well."

Jonathan Rhys Meyers Hospitalized

She wasn't. On the morning of Dec. 5, 2009, Alexa woke up with a sense of dread, anticipating the holidays without her boyfriend. She made a decision which she would very soon come to regret.

Alexa Ray Joel: 'So Much Pain'

"I was genuinely, so distraught, and in so much pain," Joel said. "It was near the holidays. I was upset. I don't want to like call and bother anyone with this anymore, 'cause I'm so sick of this pain, let me just, go to sleep." Joel took nearly a dozen homeopathic aspirin pills, ones she thought might help calm her down. Ones she never thought would hurt her.

"It ended up making me feel kind of sick, and then I panicked and I was just not thinking clearly," she said. "It kind of bothers me, that the press calls this an overdose. And I take full responsibility for what I've done. But at the same time, I wasn't trying to kill myself. I have a flair for the dramatic, OK, I'm an artist. I'm a performer. Did I actually want to die? Absolutely not. I was not suicidal."

But her parents weren't taking any chances. Brinkley encouraged Alexa to admit herself to a psychiatric hospital for intensive therapy.

"I knew with my mom that she was feeling the pain I was going through," Joel said. "I mean she's just such a compassionate, empathetic woman. And she's so emotional, like me. Overly emotional. And so she was feeling the trauma as I was feeling it, and then as I was feeling better she was feeling it, so she was living it with me. And my father, he has such perspective, he was like, 'You got to see outside of this. You're an intelligent, talented, beautiful woman.' He just would build me up so high, so, I -- I have a really good mix with the two."

Heartbreak-Related Depression

Joel credits her parents with pulling her out of the emotional abyss of depression. And now, she wants to be front and center, as someone willing to talk to young fans about what she calls "Heartbreak-Related Depression."

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...