Getty ImagesAlexa Ray Joel
was hospitalized last December after taking an overdose of painkillers, but the singer says she was "panicking" over the end of her relationship with her first love, Jimmy Riot. Alexa Ray with her mom Christie Brinkley (Getty)
She explained: "I wasn't trying to hurt myself, I wasn't trying to kill myself. I was panicked, I was not thinking clearly at all. I was in so much pain and I just wanted to numb it.
"He helped me get my band together, my career, my sexuality as a woman, I associated with him. So when he left I didn't know what I was supposed to do. I didn't know who I was. It took me so much work, heavy, heavy work to get to the point where I could feel OK on my own."
Alexa, 24, also spoke of her desire for people to not compare her with her famous parents -- Christie Brinkley
and Billy Joel
-- and judge her music on its own merits.
She said: "Everybody gets it -- I'm their daughter. But I have my own voice, I have my own sound and I have a big personality. You might want to take a listen."
Growing up, the pretty singer has regularly been compared to her beautiful mother and talented father, but they always worked hard to reassure her she would be a success in her own right.
She explained on 20/20
: "They made me feel like the star around the house. I'll be honest, I was so insecure about my looks when I was a teenager. I shouldn't compare myself to her because we look completely different really.
"I'm Billy's daughter and I'm going to be compared to a rock and roll legend. That's huge, that's a big deal. If I can be half as good an artist as him, then great, I'm doing OK. To him it's like, 'You're going to be fine kid.' "
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