Despite his 33 Top 40 Hits, six Grammy Awards, and 150 million albums sold worldwide, Billy Joel has never forgotten where he came from. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, who lives on Long Island not far from where he grew up, took the time to give a speech at Hicksville High School’s Graduation Ceremony this past weekend. It’s the school he himself attended 50 years ago.
“I was in the graduating class,” Joel proclaimed. “I didn’t graduate,” he quipped. “The gym looked a lot bigger then.”
But the speech wasn’t all lighthearted jokes. “It’s very heartening to see the diversity in this graduating class. This means this great country let your parents and your grandparents come in when they needed refuge,” he said, prompting applause from the audience.
Joel, 68, also left the graduating class with some sound advice, including choosing a job you like. It’s something the Piano Man might know a thing or two about.
Watch the clip, courtesy of Newsday, below.