According to an interview with Howard Stern, Joel had originally titled the song "Uptown Girls" and it was conceived on an occasion when he was surrounded by Christie Brinkley, Whitney Houston and his then-girlfriend Elle Macpherson. According to numerous interviews with Joel, the song was initially written about his relationship with Macpherson, but it ended up also becoming about his soon-to-be wife, Brinkley, both women being two of the most famous supermodels of the 1980s. Joel also has said that the song was inspired by the music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
The video depicts Joel and his backup singers working as auto mechanics. Brinkley arrives in a chauffeured Rolls-Royce as Joel and the mechanics dance with her. A poster of Brinkley can be seen in the garage as well as on a billboard above the garage advertising "Uptown cosmetics". At the end of the video Joel and Brinkley ride off on a motorcycle.
"Uptown Girl" peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 for five consecutive weeks from November 12 to December 10, 1983.  It also reached number one in the United Kingdom, staying at that position for five weeks as his only number-one hit in the country. It was the second biggest-selling single of 1983 in the United Kingdom behind only Culture Club's "Karma Chameleon", which Joel had knocked off the number-one position on November 1, 1983. The song was the 19th biggest-selling single of the 1980s in the United Kingdom, selling 975,000 copies. It has sold over 1.06 million copies as of 2017.
"Uptown Girl" (rereleased as double A-side with "Angels Wings" in 2002) was recorded by Irish boy bandWestlife for their third studio album, World of Our Own. It was released on March 6, 2001 as the first single from the album. It was also the 2001 Comic Relief charity single. The song was also released as the fifth single for the European Special Edition and Asian Deluxe Edition Bonus Disc of the group's second album, Coast to Coast (2000). The Westlife version is slightly shorter than the Billy Joel version because one of the verses was not repeated. The music video was a parody of the Billy Joel one, with the members of Westlife playing workers in a burger bar, and Claudia Schiffer in the Christie Brinkley role.
"Uptown Girl" reached number one in Ireland, Mexico and the United Kingdom. It became the biggest selling single of 2001 and the tenth best-selling single of all-time in Ireland. In the United Kingdom, it was the sixth best selling single of 2001 and the 24th best-selling single of the decade in the UK charts, with sales of 756,215 copies. It became the band's biggest selling single (paid-for and combined sales categories) in the UK and also achieved the highest first week sales (292,318 copies) of any of their singles. It has since been certified Platinum by the British Phonographic Industry for shipments of 600,000 copies. In Mexico the song was the 4th best selling single of 2001. As of March 2017, the song has sold almost 800,000 copies in the country from physical and digital copies which make up 81% of the total units. As of January 2019, it has 920,000 total sales. It is also their second most streamed song in the United Kingdom of all-time.