OYSTER BAY, New York (WABC) -- It's been a long time coming. The Piano Man himself was honored with a street renaming on Long Island on Thursday.
Bill Joel received a key to the Town of Oyster Bay while the music icon was surrounded by hundreds of fans from right in the community.
Joel grew up in Oyster Bay, specifically in Hicksville.
"I always appreciate being here, I think about it all the time, this is where I want to be mostly," he said.
The Oyster Bay-East Norwich School District 6th Grade Advanced Band serenaded him with two of his songs -- they played "Top Secret" and "Piano Man."
He also met with a group of veterans from Oyster Bay.
"We just feel honored to be in his presence today," veteran Bob Selvy said.
But his proudest moment, he said, was having that street sign named after him. He went from humble beginnings on Long island to one of the successful musicians in the world.
"It's a beautiful day, just a little overwhelming," Joel said. "I just never figured on this when I was living here.
He called the experience surreal.
"Yes, very, who could've predicted this? My mom would've been thrilled," he said.
The Joel Foundation has made and pledged over $7 million in charitable donations with a focus on music education and humanitarian aid. Recently, The Joel Foundation donated funds for a memorial in honor of baymen that work Oyster Bay Harbor and announced the continuation of its long-term investment in Long Island's only public arts high school, Long Island High School for the Arts.