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Billy Joel checks outof rehab facility

Grammy-winning artist was treated for alcohol abuse
/ Source: The Associated Press

Billy Joel has checked out of a California rehabilitation center a month after entering the facility for treatment of alcohol abuse.

The 55-year-old singer left the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif., early Sunday morning, his publicist, Claire Mercuri, said in an email to The Associated Press Tuesday.

Joel entered the clinic in March after suffering what Mercuri then said was “a recent bout of severe gastrointestinal distress.” He was to receive “treatment of alcohol abuse,” she said.

He is now back at his Long Island home with his wife, Kate Lee.

In June 2002, Joel spent about two weeks at Silver Hill Hospital, a substance abuse and psychiatric center in New Canaan, Conn. He later said he entered the hospital because he had been abusing alcohol.

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