Piano man Billy Joel was released from the hospital Sunday morning after an accident Saturday night on Long Island in which his car crashed into a tree after he apparently lost control. Police in Sag Harbor said firefighters pulled Joel from his Mercedes S600 at 10:30 p.m., after which he was flown by helicopter to Stony Brook Hospital and admitted for treatment. The accident is still under investigation, though police said alcohol didn't appear to have played a role. Joel was involved in another accident in the Hamptons last June, when his car skidded in the rain and crashed. There was no indication that alcohol was a factor in that crash either, but Joel checked himself into the Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, Conn., shortly afterward, reportedly for depression- and alcohol-related issues . . . Mary J. Blige and her label, MCA Records, were hit with a $10 million lawsuit filed Monday in New York by songwriters Kiyamma Griffin and Floyd Howard, who claim they weren't paid any royalties for five songs they wrote and produced for the R&B singer. The songs in question include "Sexy" and "No Happy Holidays" from Blige's 1999 release, "Mary"; and "Flying Away," "Destiny," and "To You" from Blige's 2001 album, "No More Drama." Griffin and Howard were credited on both albums, which went platinum. A trial date won't be set until Blige and her label respond to the complaint. They have 20 days to do so . . . Chuck D, Peter Gabriel and Alanis Morissette will be honored Feb. 22 at the 10th Annual Rock the Vote Patrick Lippert Awards at New York's Roseland Ballroom, for their political and social activism. The benefit gala was named after Rock the Vote's first executive director, who died of AIDS in 1993.

-- Compiled by K. Wilcox

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