The Prince Estate has been furiously taking pre-orders from anxious fans for “The Beautiful Ones” leading up to the official release on Tuesday, October 29, 2019.
Prince started working on the memoir and completed around 30 pages with writer Dan Piepenbring shortly before his death in April 21, 2016.
The first section of “The Beautiful Ones” reproduces the handwritten pages Prince wrote for the book.
Readers will also find rare candid photos, scrap papers, and drawings designed to make “The Beautiful Ones” a collectors item.
A revealing preview of the work was featured in the September 9, 2019 edition of the New Yorker.
Piepenbring recalled extensive details of his meetings with Prince and the vision Prince had for the book.
The New Yorker preview article was inspiring and heartbreaking at the same time. The passionate amount of detail Piepenbring includes gives the reader an elite pass for an intimate look at the genius many have only met in their dreams. Prince wanted his memoir to be an inspiring, educational, and revealing handbook with superpowers that could solve racism and bring communities together.
Prince’s vision for the book was a tall order but Dan Piepenbring was savvy enough to shield himself from the supernova of Prince’s genius and open up a tiny portal into the unknown.
During their first meeting, Prince grilled the author about an essay he and other competing authors were required to write about his music and why they thought they could do the job.
Piepenbring recalled writing a summary that he says was so insanely flattering that he almost regretted submitting it. But his words seemed to touch Prince in a way no other writers could.
When Piepenbring recited the first line from his pre-written statement Prince stopped him and asked why he wrote it.
Piepenbring wrote an excellent description of the exchange with Prince as he tried to explain his statement.
Prince also told the author wanted the book to motivate and educate the black community with a solid road-map to generational wealth.
He strongly believed the black community could fight racism by securing the master recordings of the most influential black musicians.
Prince outlined his own plan to fight racism and told Piepenbring that black communities could restore wealth by:
- Safeguarding their musicians’ master recordings and all their intellectual property
- Hiring their own police
- Founding their own schools
- Making covenants on their own terms
Prince’s vision is reminiscent of the success of Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Black Wall Street.
The Greenwood community was thriving with more than one hundred black business owners, and dozens of schools, and churches until the 1921 race massacre.
An army of white residents trashed, looted, and burned the Greenwood community block by block until there was nothing left.
More than ten thousand people lost their homes and 300 lives were stolen along with the dreams of newly freed slaves.
Prince wanted to tell others about their story and honor their memory by reinventing that dream.
After years of legal battles, Prince was able to gain control of his own master recordings in 2014. His life was cut short less than two years later.
Prince got to know author Dan Piepenbring by inviting him on the road for his “Piano & a Microphone” tour in Australia in February, 2016.
Prince gave the author 30 handwritten pages he’d written for the memoir.
He wrote about his childhood epilepsy, his first kiss, and the physical fights he witnessed between his parents before they separated.
Prince seemed to be bubbling over with excitement about the book.
He suggested plans for a golden-ticket promotion to help market the book before any pages were officially written.
On March 18, 2016, Prince flew to New York where he secured a contract with Random House and officially announced plans for the memoir.
He told wide-eyed fans that the book entitled “The Beautiful Ones” would cover everything from his childhood all the way to the 2007 Super Bowl.
He met with Piepenbring briefly at a small club on Tenth Avenue in Chelsea. He spoke of plans to meet up with the author wherever he was playing and the bombshells he was ready to unleash in his memoir. A few weeks later things got eerily quiet for the author as he kept checking on this superstar client.
Piepenbring says he began to get worried after he read that Prince had postponed a tour date in Atlanta.
On April 16, 2016, a TMZ report said Prince had been rushed to the hospital after an emergency landing in Moline, Illinois, to treat a resilient case of the flu.
On April 17, 2016, Prince called Piepenbring to reassure him that he was “Ok” despite exaggerated news reports.
On April 21, 2016, Prince was found unresponsive at Paisley Park following what we now know was an accidental overdose.
Investigators say he unknowingly took counterfeit Vicodin laced with an alarmingly high level of Fentanyl.
“In all likelihood, Prince had no idea he was taking a counterfeit pill that could kill him,”
The man Dan Piepenbring had come to know over a few short months was skewered in the media as an irresponsible drug addict.
He was then billed as a man who refused to prepare a will to cover his own estate although he had created a will years earlier while married to his wife Mayte.
Some media outlets trashed him as yet another black artist who was ignorant of probate laws after he spent years fighting to obtain the rights to his master recordings.
Although the people closest to Prince never reported witnessing any drug abuse, Prince’s name became a cautionary tale linked with numerous stories about the opiod crisis.
Three years after Prince’s death, Prince’s master recordings have been shipped from Minnesota to California, his family heirs remain unpaid,
and author Dan Piepenbring was charged with turning 30 handwritten pages into 300 for “The Beautiful Ones.”
With one counterfeit pill, Prince’s legacy and the management of his estate seemed to be destroyed and looted on April 21st just as effectively as the Greenwood massacre in 1921.
No charges have been filed in either case.
The Book of Prince, Prince had grand plans for his autobiography, but only a few months to live. By Dan Piepenbring, September 9, 2019 Issue The New Yorker