Billy Joel Recovering from Hip Replacement Surgery

Singer will be home in a few days

November 25, 2010 5:06 PM ET

Billy Joel is recovering after undergoing double-hip replacement surgery in New York.

"Billy Joel is doing extremely well following bilateral hip replacement and will be back at his Long Island home by the end of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend," Joel's publicist tells Rolling Stone.

The 61-year-old piano legend had been photographed recently using a cane and underwent surgery last week for a congenital disorder. Joel's publicist confirms he was able to eat Thanksgiving dinner today.

According to RadarOnline, Joel's ex-wife Christie Brinkley is caring for him. The two divorced in 1994.

"He did them both at the same time," Brinkley told RadarOnline. "Billy said, 'If I do it one at a time I know I'll never go in for the other...He's really doing well. He's really coming through with flying colors."

Leonard Cohen, Billy Joel Highlight Songwriters Gala

In the last month, Joel has been promoting The Last Play at Shea , a documentary about his historic final shows at Shea Stadium in 2008. He hasn't performed since March, and told Rolling Stone in February, "I had made up my mind a long time ago that I wasn't going to work this year."

"There was an incident with my daughter that was very shocking," he said. "I got divorced. I worked a lot. I promised myself more personal time this year. I'm going to Italy, and I'll probably go to Paris. I'll probably take my boat to New England and hang out on the coast. I'll ride my motorcycle. I'll just be a bum."

He added, "I see pictures of myself onstage, and I look at them and say, 'There has to be some kind of mandatory retirement age for doing this gig,' and then I watched the Super Bowl and saw the Who and I figure, 'Well, I guess there is no mandatory retirement age.' 'I hope I die before I get old,' — that went out the window. It's always possible that I'll tour again, whether it's with Elton or on my own. I love my job. For now I'm going to stop, but I won't sit around for the rest of my life and rot."

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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