It was only a month ago that the publisher Spiegel & Grau announced that Prince would be publishing his memoir in the fall of 2017. But the musical artist and legend died suddenly Thursday at the age of 57, and how much of his book he had completed remains unclear.
Random House, of which Spiegel & Grau is an imprint, said Thursday it had no comment on the status of the memoir, which was tentatively titled "The Beautiful Ones," after a track on Prince's album "Purple Rain."
TMZ reported Thursday that Prince, formerly known as the Artist Formerly Known As Prince, had finished roughly 50 pages after starting writing only a month ago.
So what happens next? That's not precisely clear. Prince did have a collaborator for the book, but to what extent they'd be teaming up —and whether that partner will go forward — isn't clear either.
For his memoirs, Prince had said he would be working with his brother Dan. "He's a good critic, and that's what I need. He's not a yes-man at all, and he's really helping me get through this," Prince said in March at a music industry event. "We're starting from the beginning from my first memory and hopefully we can go all the way up to the Super Bowl."
Prince was widely regarded as an artistic pioneer whose tastes and collaborations knew no bounds. His music blended everything from rock and jazz to pop and rhythm and blues, while he donned exuberant, flamboyant outfits of all colors and textures. He performed and collaborated with seemingly everyone, from the likes of Beyoncé to Madonna.
"Prince is a towering figure in global culture and his music has been the soundtrack for untold numbers of people — including me — for more than a generation," said Chris Jackson, executive editor at Spiegel & Grau, in announcing the memoir recently. "Millions of words have been written about Prince — books and articles, essays and criticism — but we're thrilled to be publishing Prince's powerful reflections on his own life in his own incandescently vivid, witty, and poetic voice."
Will the world ever learn what, precisely, Prince had to say in those reflections? It will just have to wait and see.