Alexa Ray Joel, the twenty three year old daughter off musician Billy Joel and former supermodel Christie Brinkley, was rushed to the hospital on Saturday afternoon after reportedly overdosing on pills in what is being described as a suicide attempt. Joel has been building a reputation herself as a talented songwriter and musician, but obviously she is also dealing with some serious personal issues as well.
Joel is reportedly conscious and is expected to make a full recovery, at least in a medical sense. What remains to be seen, of course, is whether Joel can make a full recovery and conquer whatever demons she is dealing with. Alexa Ray Joel has had to live her life in a very harsh spotlight. She has two extremely famous parents who remain household names even years after their respective peaks. But she has had to be witness to their divorce, and then her mother’s very public and ugly divorce from her fourth husband as well as watching her father battle alcohol in a very public and at times embarrassing way. While nobody on the outside can speculate exactly what motivates somebody to try suicide, it cannot have been an always easy life for Alexa Ray Joel.
The news of any child’s suicide attempt would obviously hit his or her parents extremely hard. For Billy Joel, however, this surely must hit very close to home. Joel has been very candid through the years of the very difficult times he has had in his life and how he himself attempted suicide while in his early twenties. In his biography, written by Hank Bordowitz, Joel is quoted as saying he wrote a suicide note and drank furniture polish in an effort to end his life. He was found by a band-mate and admitted to a psychiatric ward.
In fact, one of Billy Joel’s biggest hits, “You’re Only Human”, off of his Greatest Hits album, is well known to have been written to assist in the prevention of teen suicide. The lyrics are equal parts encouraging, forgiving and loving; they state that it’s okay to have made mistakes and to wait for your ‘second wind’ to come around.
As fans of Billy Joel, Christie Brinkley and Alexa Ray Joel pray tonight for her full recovery and ultimate happiness, this is a reminder to pay attention to your friends and family if there is reason for concern for their well being. Billy Joel has attempted suicide himself and obviously felt strongly enough about the cause to write a song to help prevent teen suicide, and yet even he was not able to stop this suicide attempt by his daughter.
New York Post Staff, “Billy Joel’s Daugther Overdoses, In Hospital”, NYPost.com
Douglas Maher, “Billy Joel Drank Furniture Polish In Suicide Attempt”, FreeRepublic.com