Supermodel Christie Brinkley and singer Billy Joel may no longer be married, but for decades, they managed to put aside their differences and co-parent their daughter, Alexa Ray.
Alexa was born to the celebrity couple in December 1985, the same year they tied the knot. The couple parted ways in 1994, and both moved on with other partners and had other children, but they chose to remain on friendly terms for the sake of their daughter.
"...we had Alexa together and we knew that was going to bind us together for life so we wanted to make our divorce work," Christie explained in an interview with Wendy Williams. "Of course as you're going through it, you know, you can get a little bit raw, but you cannot find him saying a bad word about me or me saying a bad word about him, no matter what happens."
Over the years, Alexa has been spotted accompanying her parents to red carpet events, performances, and other public engagements. It wasn't long before she began to step out of the shadows of her famous parents.
Having been brought up around music, Alexa knew she wanted to follow in her father's footsteps. From a young age, Joel didn't hold back from giving his daughter "a unique inside-peek into the songwriting process," and in turn Alexa developed writing skills similar to her father's.
By the time she was 15, she was writing full songs with piano accompaniment and some poetry.
In 2005, when she was just 19-years-old, Alexa formed a band and performed her first live show in New Jersey. She has since played hundreds of shows and embarked on many tours. She also released a six-song EP the following year, and joined her father onstage a couple of times.
However, life in the limelight wasn't all rainbows and butterflies for Alexa. In 2009, she ingested an excessive amount of a homeopathic drug called Traumeel. The Ibuprofen was said to have no active ingredient and a toxicologist confirmed that she did not overdose. When asked about the incident, Alexa clarified that she wasn't trying to kill herself, she was suffering a panic attack after a horrible breakup and wanted to "numb" the pain.
It took four years but Alexa's broken heart began to heal when she met restaurant owner Ryan Gleason. The pair have been dating since 2013, and have recently become engaged.
The happy couple revealed the news of their New Year's Day engagement on Instagram and Brinkley had the sweetest reaction.
Alexa, 32, and Ryan were vacationing together over the holidays when he proposed on the beach.
The singer-songwriter took to Instagram to share the news and show off her huge emerald cut engagement ring.
"So I was completely taken off-guard, dumbstruck, and shell-shocked- and FOR ONCE in my life, I had absolutely no words, and I couldn’t speak," wrote Alexa. "I just kept staring at this ridiculously exquisite ring — and he was just hysterically laughing at me!!!"
Alexa also recounted some parts of the sweet proposal in another post, writing, "He said to me: ‘Before I met you, my world was in black and white. You colored it in between the lines.’ It was the most beautiful thing anybody’s ever said to me. How could I possibly say no to that?!?!"
Brinkley who has previously gushed about Ryan being a nice guy, later took to Instagram to express her happiness over the exciting news.
"Under the largest moon on the year, my little Moonbeam got engaged, and I am over the moon with joy for these two!” Brinkley wrote. "Ryan is the sweetest, kindest, hard-working man who sincerely loves and adores my precious Alexa Ray so I love him too and while we have always thought of him as family soon he really will be! What s beautiful way for our family to start the New Year…. Celebrating their L❤️VE !!!"
Under the largest moon on the year , my little Moonbeam got engaged, and I am over the moon with joy for these two! ( my I phone is not working so I have not been able to post .. I am trying to write my comment now .. each word is a struggle to post) Ryan is the sweetest, kindest, hard working man who sincerely loves and adores my precious Alexa Ray so I love him too and while we have always thought of him as family soon he really will be ! What s beautiful way for our family to start the New Year.... Celebrating their L❤️VE !!!
She also revealed that she is ready to plan a wedding with her daughter, and described the family's New Year's Eve celebrations are "the most Bellissima."
Joel has yet to comment on his daughter's engagement, but the Uptown Girl singer has recently welcomed a new daughter, and is understandably too occupied to log on to social media.
Congratulations to Alexa and Ryan!