Billy Joel is undergoing treatment for a ”specific and personal problem” at a hospital specializing in substance abuse and psychiatric care, according to his record label. Joel is planning to stay for 10 days at Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, Conn., Columbia Records said in a statement.
The label didn’t detail Joel’s problem, but The Advocate of Stamford newspaper reported that he was being treated in the hospital’s chemical dependency center. Earlier this year, Joel postponed his tour with Elton John, citing ”acute laryngitis, inflamed vocal cords and an acute upper respiratory infection.” Around that time, Joel’s representatives denied a New York Times report that the 53-year-old performer appeared to be ”under the influence of something stronger than cough syrup” at a Madison Square Garden concert.
Joel has spoken of a half-serious suicide attempt and a brief stay in a psychiatric hospital as a young man. The singer/songwriter hasn’t released an album of new pop songs since 1993’s ”River of Dreams”; he’s spent the intervening years touring and composing classical music.