William Martin "Billy" Joel is an American pianist, singer-songwriter, and composer. He reluctantly began piano lessons at an early age, at his mother's insistence, his teachers including the noted American pianist Morton Estrin and musician Timothy Ford. He had been playing at a piano bar to help his mother make ends meet, which interfered with his attendance; specifically, he missed a crucial English exam, as he had been playing a late-night gig at a piano bar the evening before. Joel has had Top 40 hits in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, achieving 33 Top 40 hits in the US, all of which he wrote himself. In 1992, Joel was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 1999, he made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.