Alexa Ray Joel on Depression & Her Famous Parents

Alexa Ray Joel was born into high expectations: the daughter of supermodel Christie Brinkley and singer-songwriter Billy Joel, she's lived in her parents' shadow her whole life. But Joel is determined to be accepted on her own terms as a musician and model -- especially after a depression-related drug overdose in December landed her in the hospital. In this week's People, Joel admits how much she struggles with comparisons to her parents, but says that her overdose wasn't their fault.

"It had everything to do with my depression, my anxiety, a dysfunctional on-and-off relationship with my ex -- nothing to do with my relationship with either one of my parents," Joel says. The incident, which she calls a cry for help ("a part of me wanted people close to me to know -- not the whole world"), was triggered by lingering feelings for ex-boyfriend Jimmy Riot. Joel, 24, says that her parents have been her biggest cheerleaders in good times and bad.

"Nobody is more supportive of my physical appearance," Joel says of mother Brinkley, 56. "She tells me -- which I don't understand -- that she wishes she looked like me, that I'm so much more unique than her."

As for her fledgling singer-songwriter career, "It's hard because [people] compare my music to my father and my looks to my mother. And I like to think that my music and my voice are different than my father's and my look is very different from my mother's. Can't I just be me?"

Joel and her band are releasing a new album in June, with the first single appropriately titled "Notice Me." At the same time, she's working as a spokesmodel for Prell shampoo -- which was her mother's gig in the '80s. We applaud her for making every effort to be her own person and brush off comparisons to the celebrities who happen to be her parents.

Plus:
- Alexa Ray Joel Defends Christie Brinkley!

- Alexa Ray Joel on the Mend
- Billy Joel's Daughter Hospitalized in Possible Suicide Attempt

Will Alexa Ray Joel have more difficulty in life, or less, because her parents are so famous? Chime in below!

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