Billy Joel has the honor of being the author of the first song I ever fully memorized. It was Only The Good Die Young. I was 10 years old when it came out.
Of course I had memorized other songs, but none of the radio. This is the first one I remember when hearing it on the radio I could sing the whole thing straight through and was proud of it.
I also remember seeing Billy Joel on Late Night With David Letterman where he had a bottle of beer he was drinking from while singing about how it was still rock and roll to him.
I believe that most artists are playing characters. I think it's true of most people. The Billy Joel character that I liked the most was the motorcycle-riding hellion throwing rocks at glass houses. Something changed as he grew older and started being nostalgic at such a young age.
There is only one Billy Joel song in my collection of 50,000 songs. I will update this if that ever changes.