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Behind the Music: 8 Memoirs and Biographies of Iconic Musicians

by  | November 25

How much do you know about the artists behind your favorite classic bands and songs? In these memoirs and biographies about some of society’s greatest musical legends, you’ll learn about their victories and struggles as they coped with depression, sexism, and addiction to bring us some of our most celebrated music.

Janis

Janis

by Holly George-Warren

This blazingly intimate biography of Janis Joplin establishes the Queen of Rock & Roll as the rule-breaking musical trailblazer and complicated, gender-bending rebel she was. Written by one of the most highly regarded chroniclers of American music history, and based on unprecedented access to Janis Joplin’s family, friends, band mates, archives, and long-lost interviews, Janis is a complex, rewarding portrait of a remarkable artist finally getting her due.

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Paul Simon

Paul Simon

by Robert Hilburn

For more than fifty years, Paul Simon has spoken to us in songs about alienation, doubt, resilience, and empathy in ways that have established him as one of the most beloved artists in American pop music history. But Simon has said he will not write an autobiography or talk to biographers. Finally, however, he has opened up for Robert Hilburn in this “brilliant and entertaining portrait of Simon that will likely be the definitive biography” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).

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My Love Story

My Love Story

by Tina Turner

In this New York Times bestseller, Tina Turner—the long-reigning queen of rock & roll and living legend—sets the record straight about her illustrious career and complicated personal life. Emphatically showcasing Tina’s signature blend of strength, energy, heart, and soul, this is a gorgeously wrought memoir as enthralling and moving as any of her greatest hits.

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Mercury

Mercury

by Lesley-Ann Jones

Revealing and intimate, based on more than 100 interviews with key figures in his life, this is the definitive biography of Queen front man Freddie Mercury, one of pop music’s best-loved and most complex figures. Meticulously researched, sympathetic yet not sensational, Mercury offers an unvarnished look at the extreme highs and lows of life in the fast lane. At the heart of this story is a man...and the music he loved.

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Mick

Mick

by Christopher Andersen

For decades, Mick has jealously guarded his many shocking secrets—until now. As the Rolling Stones mark their 50th anniversary, New York Times bestselling author Christopher Andersen tore the mask from rock’s most complex and enigmatic icon in a no-holds-barred biography as impossible to ignore as Jagger himself.

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Not Dead & Not for Sale

Not Dead & Not for Sale

by Scott Weiland

The lead singer of the Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver delivers an exhilarating memoir of scaling the pinnacle of rock stardom, plunging into the chasm of addiction and incarceration, and then clawing his way back to the top again and again. Not Dead & Not for Sale is a hard rock memoir to be reckoned with—a passionate, insightful, and at times humorous book that reads with extraordinary narrative force.

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The Heroin Diaries: Ten Year Anniversary Edition

The Heroin Diaries: Ten Year Anniversary Edition

by Nikki Sixx

Brutally honest, utterly riveting, and surprisingly moving, The Heroin Diaries follows Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx during his yearlong war with a vicious heroin addition—and his courageous decision to pick himself up and start living again. Here, Nikki shares the diary entries—some poetic, some scatterbrained, some bizarre—of those dark times.

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I Would Die 4 U

I Would Die 4 U

by Touré

An expansive and insightful exploration of one of the most iconic and electrifying artists ever, this book reveals the stunning, multi-generational influence and appeal of Prince and his revered music—from celebrated journalist, author, and host of the popular podcast The Touré Show.

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