“Yesterday I tried to write a novel, but I didn’t know where to begin,” sang Prince in his 1982 song Moonbeam Levels.
Over three decades later, in 2016, he reported he had begun to compose his memoirs.
The purple composition was never wrapped up.
On the 21st of April that year he passed away aged 57, a quarter of a year into the venture, having written 28 pages about his youth, utilizing his trademark truncated spellings, U, R, 2, 4 and “eye” for I.
“The book coincided with an inward turn in what he was experiencing, in what would turn out to be his final years,” says Dan Piepenbring, 33, the writer Prince chose to collaborate with on his memoir The Beautiful Ones, named after his track on the Purple Rain album.
“I think for the first time he was aware of his legacy, aware of that he had power to shape the narrative around him. And maybe he was coming to be more aware of his mortality,” Piepenbring told news source the BBC.
After Prince’s passing, his organization reached Piepenbring, inquiring as to whether there was a way he could transform what had been composed into a book and offering access to the document at Prince’s Paisley Park HQ.
Utilizing photos, family memorabilia and composing his first introduction to clarify Prince’s pages, The Beautiful Ones is the nearest there will ever be to a Prince memoir.
Here are seven (that most Prince of numbers) things we have found out about the pop star from the book about him:
1) Prince was not an Ed Sheeran fan
In a segment he stresses over the fate of radio, Prince gripes: “They keep trying to ram Katy Perry and Ed Sheeran down our throats and we don’t like it no matter how many times they play it.”
So what was his concern with Sheeran?
Piepenbring concedes: “To be honest I was so much in agreement with him on that subject that there didn’t seem to be any more to say about it at the time. More than a grudge with a few artists in particular, what he was bemoaning was a culture that simply doesn’t allow artists to color outside the lines.”
2) He was a fanatic of Kung Fu Panda 3
Prince frequently bought out his nearby movie theater in Minneapolis, late-night and welcomed friends and bandmates to private screenings. Prince’s movie choice? Kung Fu Panda 3.
“He had his assistant bring him some popcorn,” the report shared. “He sat alone in the back row, but I remember hearing him laugh a few times. Right when the credits rolled he got up and skipped down the stairs. He was wearing these light-up sneakers. He was so childlike in that moment. I know he also liked Finding Nemo. He enjoyed these fairy tales.”
The book additionally uncovers Prince as an enthusiast of the Richard Curtis’ 2013 time-traveling tragedy, About Time, especially the scene where Rachel McAdams meets her affection enthusiasm for a tangible hardship burger joint. “Imagine that meal” explains Prince.
Envision Prince watching About Time.
3) He felt his memoir could ‘solve racism’
Prince accepted that his book could be ground-breaking. Powerful.
“In one way he wanted it to be a memoir, a fairly straightforward story about his life, his childhood and especially his parents,” reports say.
“But he also saw the book as a way to extend the activism that he had begun, especially his work with Black Lives matter. ‘Could it solve racism?’
“To sit in a room with him and lock eyes with him and to hear him utter that question. Something that feels impossible in any other context, in that context suddenly feels natural, and makes you bristle with excitement.”
4) The young artist understood some ‘facts of life’ from watching R-rated movies
Prince was never legitimately told about sex. His stepfather spared himself from having “The Talk” by taking him and a few his companions to what he portrayed as “a raggedy R-rated drive-in movie”.
Prince inferred this was not the most ideal approach to find out about sex. His favored technique? “Having the Song of Solomon perused and talked about with U by somebody who adores U.” The Bible was the best source in Prince’s brain.
The journalist was relieved at Prince’s willingness to write about his sexuality, saying: “I had worried, given his aversion to his racier songs – he no longer played Darling Nikki or Head, or any of those. I feared that the book’s pages might shy away from his sexuality, but it was all there – very humorously, cheekily rendered.”
5) He had his first kiss playing happy families
It is maybe not astonishing that Prince built up an enthusiasm for young ladies at an exceptionally youthful age.
In a chapter called Kiss he details how a girl called Laura “who was only five or six” enlisted him for a game of House, saying: “We weren’t the 1st interracial couple in Minneapolis, but we were no doubt the youngest”.
He was kissed multiple times during the game, once while on the way to “work”, when he returned and “one b4 U rested that night”. Each kiss kept going under three seconds, yet signified “everything to him”.
6) Prince was dealing with the book four days before he passed on
On April 15th 2016 Prince’s personal jet made an emergency arrival and he was hospitalized. That week he called his co-writer to tell him that he would need to proceed with the book.
“When my phone lit up with a Minneapolis area code I was overjoyed. I was so relieved to hear that he was alright and he wanted to tell me he was still thinking actively about the memoir.
“He went into the thoughts he was having about his parents and said that one of his life’s central dilemmas was figuring out what they meant to him and how he was living out their lives with his own.
“He said he was going to stop touring and would really get down to business. I came away from that call with a tremendous optimism. Of course, it wasn’t to be”.
7) The Beautiful Ones was to be the first in a collection of books
The memoir was not going to be a single.
“This book, to his mind was going to be the first of many,” explains the author.
“And for the rest of my life I’m going to be wondering what else there was to say, and what form the book could have taken if he’d lived. There’s definitely a sadness and a sense of wonder in everything he didn’t get to say”.