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updated 3/16/2005 9:15:29 AM ET 2005-03-16T14:15:29

Billy Joel has checked into an undisclosed rehabilitation center “for treatment of alcohol abuse,” his spokeswoman said.

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Joel, 55, entered the clinic after suffering “a recent bout of severe gastrointestinal distress,” spokeswoman Claire Mercuri told the New York Post for Wednesday editions.

In June 2002, the singer-songwriter checked into a New Canaan, Conn., substance abuse and psychiatric center. He later said he entered the hospital because he had been abusing alcohol.

Joel has been involved in several car accidents in the past three years, though none has been linked to alcohol or drug use.

The Grammy-winning artist, whose hits include his signature song, “Piano Man,” married 23-year-old Kate Lee last year. It was his third marriage.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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