Among the many questions in the wake of Prince's sudden death last Thursday is what will happen to his planned memoir, a project that was announced just a month ago.
Prince announced the surprise project -- his first book -- from the stage at an intimate show in New York City on March 18. "We're starting from the beginning from my first memory and hopefully we can go all the way up to the Super Bowl," he said, referring to his 2007 performance that many consider the greatest Super Bowl halftime show of all time.
The musical legend was working with The Paris Review web editor Dan Piepenbring on The Beautiful Ones (tentative title), which was slated for publication in fall 2017 via Random House imprint Spiegel & Grau and set to be edited by Spiegel & Grau executive editor Chris Jackson, who previously edited Ta-Nehisi Coates' No. 1 New York Times best-seller Between the World and Me.
Deep tragedy. I'm so sorry for your loss Minneapolis. We will try and cheer you up for at least a little while tonight. #RIPPrince
Shocked and soooo sad!!
#RIP PRINCE #music #legend #gonetoosoon https://t.co/KlEBPPl40U
I wish I could have expressed my love for him before he left. https://t.co/drlyFNWF9X
Today we lost a true artist. Thank you #Prince for all the music you put into this world. #RIP https://t.co/4yZ6Cb5hMb
Prince was a true gentleman, a king among men. He was as sharp and as talented as they come. I'm so glad I was lucky enough to work with him
RIP Prince. The only person I ever saw a crowd part for.
Rest easy, legend ❤️ #RIPPrince
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It's unclear if any of the plans for Prince's memoir will change. Random House and ICM Partners, which represented Prince in the book deal, told The Hollywood Reporter they are not commenting at this time. ICM's Esther Newberg told The Wall Street Journal last month that Prince already had turned in the first 50 pages -; if he had been recording his memories for Piepenbring to fashion into text (a common tactic for celebrity memoirs), then it is possible that more hours of tape exist to extend his story beyond those 50 pages. But if Prince was writing a draft from scratch, there might be less material for Piepenbring to work with. The writer did not return a request for comment.
What's certain is that any eventual output related to the original project will certainly draw even more attention now, as it will stand as the last authorized biography of the legendary artist. Publisher Judith Regan (who is not affiliated with the deal) said that if she were involved with the project, she'd push to bring the book out as soon as possible.
In recent years, Latin superstar Jenni Rivera's memoir Unbreakablewas released posthumously, seven months after she was killed in a December 2012 plane crash. In that case, the singer had finished her work on the book just before her death, and Unbreakable went on to become a best-seller, reaching No. 12 on Amazon with the Spanish-language version, Inquebrantable, hitting No. 2 overall.
US artist singer and songwriter Prince performs on stage during his concert in Antwerp Sportpaleis, on November 8, 2010. AFP PHOTO /BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM (DIRK WAEM/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 19: Prince presents the award for British Female Solo Artist at The BRIT Awards 2014 at 02 Arena on February 19, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 19: Prince and Ida Nielsen, Hannah Ford Welton and Donna Grantis of his band 3rdEyeGirl present an award at The BRIT Awards 2014 at The O2 Arena on February 19, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Redferns via Getty Images)
Prince Rogers Nelson is better known as just Prince and is pictured where is spends a lot of his time; on concert stage around the world. Denmark 2013. (Photo by: PYMCA/UIG via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 19: Recording artist Prince performs during the 2013 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 19, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 22: Singer Mary J. Blige (L) and recording artist Prince perform onstage during the 2012 iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 22, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Clear Channel)
LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 22: Recording artist Prince (L) and singer Mary J. Blige perform onstage during the 2012 iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 22, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for Clear Channel)