Musicians are not only inherently fascinating because of their music. Fans and the general public want to know everything about their personal lives, from their rise to fame to salacious gossip, band drama, and the overall lifestyle. A great way to get an insider’s view is by immersing yourself in the pages of their memoirs and biographies. Of course, a bonus is to jam out to some of their music while reading.
So dive into the crowd via these musical page-turners by selecting one or more of these best musician memoirs and biographies to read right now!
The platinum-selling recording artist began writing his remarkable autobiography in a federal maximum-security prison. Released in 2016, he emerged radically transformed. He was sober, smiling, focused, and positive–a far cry from the Gucci Mane of years past.
Girl in a Band by Kim Gordon
Kim Gordon, founding member of Sonic Youth, fashion icon, and role model for a generation of women, now tells her story–a memoir of life as an artist, of music, marriage, motherhood, independence, and as one of the first women of rock and roll.
Me by Elton John
In his first and only official autobiography, music icon Elton John reveals the truth about his extraordinary life, from his rollercoaster lifestyle as shown in the film Rocketman, to becoming a living legend.
Face It by Debbie Harry
Following her path from glorious commercial success to heroin addiction, the near-death of partner Chris Stein, a heart-wrenching bankruptcy, and Blondie’s breakup as a band to her multifaceted acting career in more than thirty films, a stunning solo career and the triumphant return of her band, and her tireless advocacy for the environment and LGBTQ rights, Face It is a cinematic story of a woman who made her own path, and set the standard for a generation of artists who followed in her footsteps–a memoir as dynamic as its subject, filled with never-before-seen photos and art throughout.
Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen
He describes growing up Catholic in Freehold, New Jersey, amid the poetry, danger, and darkness that fueled his imagination, leading up to the moment he refers to as “The Big Bang” seeing Elvis Presley’s debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. He vividly recounts his relentless drive to become a musician, his early days as a bar band king in Asbury Park, and the rise of the E Street Band. With disarming candor, he also tells for the first time the story of the personal struggles that inspired his best work.
Broken Horses by Brandi Carlile
The critically acclaimed singer-songwriter, producer, and six-time Grammy winner opens up about faith, sexuality, parenthood, and a life shaped by music.
Life by Keith Richards
With his trademark disarming honesty, Keith Richard, founding member of the Rolling Stones, brings us the story of a life we have all longed to know more of, unfettered, fearless, and true.
Decoded by Jay-Z
Decoded is a book like no other: a collection of lyrics and their meanings that together tell the story of a culture, an art form, a moment in history, and one of the most provocative and successful artists of our time.
Cash by Johnny Cash
He was the Man in Black, a country music legend, and the quintessential American troubadour. He was an icon of rugged individualism who had been to hell and back, telling the tale as never before. In his unforgettable autobiography, Johnny Cash tells the truth about the highs and lows, the struggles and hard-won triumphs, and the people who shaped him.
The Meaning of Mariah Carey by Mariah Carey
The global icon, award-winning singer, songwriter, producer, actress, mother, daughter, sister, storyteller, and artist finally tells the unfiltered story of her life. This book is composed of memories, mishaps, struggles, survival, and songs.
Remain in Love by Chris Frantz
In Remain in Love, Frantz writes about the beginnings of Talking Heads–their days as art students in Providence, moving to the sparse Chrystie Street loft Frantz, Weymouth, and Byrne shared where the music that defined an era was written. With never-before-seen photos and immersive vivid detail, Frantz describes life on tour, down to the meals eaten and the clothes worn–and reveals the mechanics of a long and complicated working relationship with a mercurial frontman.
Open Book by Jessica Simpson
Jessica reveals for the first time her inner monologue and most intimate struggles. Guided by the journals she’s kept since age fifteen, and brimming with her unique humor and down-to-earth humanity, Open Book is as inspiring as it is entertaining.
Let Love Rule by Lenny Kravitz
Let Love Rule is a work of deep reflection. Lenny Kravitz looks back at his life with candor, self-scrutiny, and humor.
The Beautiful Ones by Prince
The brilliant coming-of-age-and-into-superstardom story of one of the greatest artists of all time, in his own words–featuring never-before-seen photos, original scrapbooks and lyric sheets, and the exquisite memoir he began writing before his tragic death.
Stories to Tell by Richard Marx
Legendary musician Richard Marx offers an enlightening, entertaining look at his life and career.
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