Alexa Ray Joel Strikes a Chord of Her Own

10/08/2006 at 10:40 AM EDT

Alexa Ray Joel Strikes a Chord of Her Own
Alexa Ray Joel
Joel Simon/startraks
Alexa Ray Joel, the daughter of Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley, has been rocking since she was a toddler, standing backstage with Mom at her dad's concerts. Now 20, the Piano Man's kid is ready to take center stage with Sketches, a CD of six songs she wrote and released online, and a monthlong tour.

On wanting to be a musician 'since I was born': I was always listening to my dad's music. My mom pushed me to take classical-piano training. I used to dress up in costumes and pretend to be Whitney Houston – hair, makeup, wigs. My mom would videotape me.

On her musical style: It's a bit more soulful, more blues than my dad's. He’s more pop rock. And his piano playing is better than mine, but that's okay. I don't want to be the Piano Girl.

On her song 'Now It's Gone,' about her mom's split from Peter Cook amid allegations of his infidelity: I wrote it in a day. It came really naturally. It helped me get rid of the anger that I have. When I perform it, the anger boils back up because I get into the song. But (the anger has) kind of all washed itself away in the lyrics.

On how her mom's doing: She's great, very strong. She will get through this just fine. She always rises above a situation that's filled with sleaziness or darkness. I'm just really proud of her.

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