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About the book
  • Published: 29 October 2019
  • ISBN: 9781780899176
  • Imprint: Century
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $49.99

The Beautiful Ones




THE BEAUTIFUL ONES is the official story of Prince's life, told through his own words, work, and personal effects, illustrated in beautiful colour full-colour . It will be an intimate, unconventional narrative, echoing his mantra of creativity, community and identity, giving an unprecedented and inspiring insight into the life of the global superstar.

THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
______________________________________________
'A triumph ... a masterclass in the bottling of its subject’s seductive essence. His presence in this book is so strong that it’s hard to believe he has really left the building'
MOJO
'Handsomely presented, visually sumptuous'
THE TIMES______________________________________________
From Prince himself comes the brilliant coming-of-age-and-into-superstardom story of one of the greatest artists of all time—featuring never-before-seen photos, original scrapbooks and lyric sheets, and the exquisite memoir he began writing before his tragic death.

Prince was a musical genius, one of the most talented, beloved, accomplished, popular, and acclaimed musicians in pop history. But he wasn't only a musician—he was also a startlingly original visionary with an imagination deep enough to whip up whole worlds, from the sexy, gritty funk paradise of his early records to the mythical landscape of Purple Rain to the psychedelia of Paisley Park. But his greatest creative act was turning Prince Rogers Nelson, born in Minnesota, into Prince, the greatest pop star of his era.

The Beautiful Ones is the story of how Prince became Prince—a first-person account of a kid absorbing the world around him and then creating a persona, an artistic vision, and a life, before the hits and fame that would come to define him. The book is told in four parts. The first is composed of the memoir he was writing before his tragic death, pages that brings us into Prince's childhood world through his own lyrical prose. The second part takes us into Prince's early years as a musician, before his first album released, through a scrapbook of Prince's writing and photos. The third section shows us Prince's evolution through candid images that take us up to the cusp of his greatest achievement, which we see in the book's fourth section: his original handwritten treatment for Purple Rain—the final stage in Prince's self-creation, as he retells the autobiography we've seen in the first three parts as a heroic journey.

The book is framed by editor Dan Piepenbring’s riveting and moving introduction about his short but profound collaboration with Prince in his final days—a time when Prince was thinking deeply about how to reveal more of himself and his ideas to the world, while retaining the mystery and mystique he’d so carefully cultivated—and annotations that provide context to each of the book’s images.

This work is not just a tribute to Prince, but an original and energizing literary work, full of Prince’s ideas and vision, his voice and image, his undying gift to the world.
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‘Prince’s voice comes through loud and clear; his personality, joie de vivre and single-mindedness jumping off the page throughout.’
CLASSIC POP MAGAZINE

'The Beautiful Ones is for everyone. It's not a read, but an experience, an immersion inside the mind of a musical genius. You are steeped in Prince's images, his words, his essence… The book can be a starting point for a Prince fascination, or a continuation of long-standing admiration. Either way, it will deepen the connection of any reader with the musical icon.”
USA TODAY

'An affirmation of Prince’s Blackness and humanity… Prince writes about his childhood with clarity and poetic flair, effortlessly combining humorous anecdotes with deep self-reflection and musical analysis… Prince is one of us — he just worked to manifest dreams that took him from the North Side of Minneapolis to the Super Bowl.'
HUFFPOST

'A memoir that is written by Prince, literally. Handwritten pages he had shared with Piepenbring make up Part 1, taking us from his first memory — his mother's eyes — through the early days of his career... The Beautiful Ones doesn't paint a perfect picture. It's not definitive. It can't be, it shouldn't be and, thankfully, it doesn't try to be. We'll never know what it might have been if Prince had lived. But it's a good start. Now, it's up to us to take what's there and make something out of it for ourselves, creating, just as Prince wanted.'
NPR

'Both a pleasure and a surprise ... Prince took the project very seriously, and it shows in the work he delivered. ... It shines an intimate and revealing light on the least-known period of his life'
VARIETY
‘This is a beautiful book and a must-have for Prince completists’
DAILY EXPRESS

‘A ghostly memoir of a pop legend’
THE i

  • Pub date: 29 October 2019
  • ISBN: 9781780899176
  • Imprint: Century
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $49.99

Praise for The Beautiful Ones

“This sumptuous-looking illustrated tribute to the late, great musician and singer tells the official story of Prince's life, through his own words and personal effects.”

The Bookseller

“A triumph…The Beautiful Ones rivals the Beastie Boys Book – or even your favourite Prince song – as a masterclass in the bottling of its subject’s seductive essence… his presence in this book is so strong that it’s hard to believe he has really left the building. *****”

Mojo

“Handsomely presented, visually sumptuous.”

The Times

“Prince remains as enigmatic as ever. And yet, it is in the very fragmentary structure of the book that the essence of the man comes alive…In a world of identikit pop stars terrified of upsetting the apple cart, this is a book that reminds us that Prince truly was one of a kind.”

Irish Independent

“Prince’s voice comes through loud and clear; his personality, joie de vivre and single-mindedness jumping off the page throughout.'”

Classic Pop Magazine

“The Beautiful Ones is for everyone. It doesn't matter whether you're a Prince fanatic or if your interest is simply piqued by all things music or pop culture: The book is worth picking up.The Beautiful Ones is not a read, but an experience, an immersion inside the mind of a musical genius. You are steeped in Prince's images, his words, his essence… The book can be a starting point for a Prince fascination, or a continuation of long-standing admiration. Either way, it will deepen the connection of any reader with the musical icon.”

USA Today

“It’s both a pleasure and a surprise to say that although The Beautiful Ones may not satisfy fans’ wildest dreams, it delivers much, much more than we had any reason to expect. As is clear from editor Dan Piepenbring’s very long intro, Prince took the project very seriously, and it shows in the work he delivered. Although the actual autobiography segment of this book ends at the end of Prince’s teens, it shines an intimate and revealing light on the least-known period of his life — his childhood — which is embellished with family photos, notes and other ephemera.”

Variety

“Worth every penny.”

Daily Mirror

“The Beautiful Ones is an affirmation of Prince’s Blackness and humanity…. Prince writes about his childhood with clarity and poetic flair, effortlessly combining humorous anecdotes with deep self-reflection and musical analysis….It’s another truth about him that is rarely explored in the media…. The Beautiful Ones shows that Prince is one of us — he just worked to manifest dreams that took him from the North Side of Minneapolis to the Super Bowl. It encourages us to tap into our power to design the lives we envision for ourselves and set a precedent for future generations to do the same.”

Huffpost

“Prince's posthumous memoir conceals as much as it reveals, but remains a beautiful and strange book.”

The Quietus

“Piepenbring doesn't just want to write this memoir with Prince, he wants to do it right (whatever "right" is, Prince always colored way outside of the purple lines). Once Prince dies and the book project lives on, Piepenbring also wants to do right by his idol…. This means we get a memoir that is written by Prince, literally. Handwritten pages he had shared with Piepenbring make up Part 1, taking us from his first memory — his mother's eyes — through the early days of his career…. We also get a memoir that is carefully curated by Piepenbring, who writes that he was able to go through Paisley Park, room-by-room, sorting through Prince's life… The Beautiful Ones doesn't paint a perfect picture. It's not definitive. It can't be, it shouldn't be and, thankfully, it doesn't try to be. We'll never know what it might have been if Prince had lived. But it's a good start. Now, it's up to us to take what's there and make something out of it for ourselves, creating, just as Prince wanted.”

NPR

“The book kicks off with Piepenbring’s engrossing tale behind the memoir…That soon gives way to the pages the artist wrote before his passing...These recollections are tender and heartfelt…a rare treasure trove for Prince fanatics”

Yahoo! Entertainment

“A beautifully crafted objet d’art”

Hot Press

“This is a beautiful book and a must-have for Prince completists”

Daily Express

“A ghostly memoir of a pop legend”

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