Billy Joel assured the public that his daughter Alexa Ray Joel "is going to be fine," speaking to a Newsday reporter Saturday night (Dec. 5) after the 23-year-old was rushed to the hospital in an apparent suicide attempt.
Alexa Ray, a singer and pianist herself and the only child of Joel and his ex-wife Christie Brinkley, was admitted to St. Vincent's Medical Center in New York after swallowing unidentified pills and complaining of difficulty breathing. She has since been released from the hospital and is staying with her father at an undisclosed location, her publicist told the AP on Monday. Officials have classified the overdose as a suicide attempt.
A family friend attributed Alexa Ray's troubles to a "rough breakup with a boyfriend." In 2008, the singer split with bandmate James "Jimmy Riot" Elliot," who worked on her 2006 EP "Sketches," and "has battled depression" ever since, the source told the Daily News. "Her mother was a supermodel. Her father is one of the biggest pop stars in America. She's trying to find her place in the world."
In October, Alexa Ray released the single "Invisible," a piano-driven ballad about a rocky relationship. "This pain is growing/And though I keep on going/I don't feel that I'm OK," Joel sings on the track, which is available for download on her Web site. "You say you're moving' on, now/I gotta let it go/And this is not healthy anymore/And I should understand you, You're so logical/But I just don't hear you/'Cause if I can't be near you, nothin' ever feels OK."
Alexa Ray was scheduled to promote "Invisible" with a Thursday (Dec. 10) afternoon appearance at the New York Stock Exchange's holiday tree lighting ceremony, and at a performance and autograph signing at J&R Music World earlier in the day. A spokesperson for the latter tells Billboard.com, "As of right now, the event has not been cancelled," but a rep for NYSE said her tree lighting apearance has been called off.
Meanwhile, the Daily News reports that Joel remained in his Long Island home over the weekend and did not visit his daughter the hospital in order to avoid "a circus atmosphere." According to a friend, the veteran musician "was in constant phone contact."