Booked for the Grammys

LA Reid Pretty Page Turner

The annual musical bacchanalia known as the Grammys is upon us.  And as much as I enjoy the Grammy performances,  I also love books about the lives that influence the lyrics. Check out this list of my fave industry bios and musical memoirs.

The Producer:  LA Reid
Sing to Me: My Story of Making Music, Finding Magic, and Searching for Who’s Next 

Recently released in paperback, LA Reid shares the intimate story of 30 years at the center of what and who is next in music.  Letting us into the lives of artists like Justin Bieber and Usher as they begin ascending the stairs of fame, he is an expert at giving us insight into the procreation and marketing of top-class talent.



The Star Maker:  Clive DavisClive Davis Book Pretty Page Turner
The Soundtrack of my Life 

If you want music to be your business, you must know and understand the history of Clive Davis.  The voices he brought to fame (Whitney Houston, Barry Manilow, Aretha Franklin) reads like a Grammy ledger Hall of Fame.  From his hard luck beginnings to the top echelons of music history, his life story is the songbook of American music and pop culture.





The Emperor of Sound Pretty Page Turner


The Genius:  Timbaland
The Emperor of Sound 

We all know his sounds, but we don’t know the man.  Timbaland is the musician’s musician that rarely gives interviews and doesn’t attend launch parties.  The private man lets us into the his creative process and the genius within that makes beats and music both revolutionary and classic.  One of the true geniuses of an era, his book is a masterclass in the creative process and produces the earworms we can’t stop loving and listening to.




The Mega Star:  Beyoncé Becoming Beyonce Pretty Page Turner
Becoming Beyoncé:  The Untold Story

Queen Elizabeth may be the longest reigning monarch, but I bow to only one queen and her name is QueenBey.  One of my favorite biographers J. Randy Taraborrelli continued his streak of well-researched and multi-dimensional exposes of pop’s reigning princess.  Always willing to give you the full story, this biography looks at the people behind the scenes that helped propel Beyonce into star status.  Taraborrelli never lets me down skillfully making his subject human-giving insight into the flaws as well as the fabulousness.




The Keys DJ Khaled Pretty Page Turner

The Maverick:  DJ Khaled
The Keys 

When someone’s anthem is “All I Do is Win” and they back it up-it’s time to pay attention!  DJ Khaled is cluing us into “The Keys” he considers necessary for success. The King of social media, Khaled is brash, real and does it all his own way.  We finally get insight into his journey and the catchphrases they produced (um, special cloth alert) as well as a little mogul talk with a few of his friends-you may know them: Jay Z, Madonna et al.





The Heartbeat:  Carole Bayer Sager Carole Bayer Sager Pretty Page Turner review
They’re Playing Our Song:  A Memoir 

There singers, there are songwriters and then there is Carole Bayer Sager.  Channeling the heights and heartbreak of her own life, she has penned the love songs we use for the expression of our life’s journeys.  She has conquered the big screen, Broadway and the radio airwaves. From her star-studded friendships to love lost and regained, Carole gives us a memoir of a well-rounded and talented woman that has lived and loved just as fully as she has worked and succeeded.




Born to Run book Pretty Page Turner review

The Boss:  Bruce Springsteen
Born to Run 

Is there any stage of your life that doesn’t have a Springsteen song in the background? Me, either.  Known for his marathon concert performances, he holds nothing back in his memoir as well.  He shares the difficult relationship with his father, his publicly disastrous first marriage and the depression following surgery. He looks like a rocker, but he has the heart and soul of an artist well-versed in his medium.  His prose is like his rock-n-roll lyrics-raw and honest, with a driven beat.



The Legend:  Tony Bennett Tony Bennett Just Getting Started Pretty Page Turner review
Just Getting Started 

It’s a landmark moment of my life that I saw Tony Bennett in concert.  He sang for a full 90 minutes, no intermission, no break.  He did not sit once and smiled with every syllable.  He was charming, personable and his voice was as velvety smooth from the first song to the last (acapella) note.  As we left, I remember knowing I had witnessed an old-school professional in action.  I’ve never been so mesmerized by one man holding a microphone. At 90 years young, Tony Bennett’s library of books is just as prolific as his songbook, and this edition is a synopsis of the many relationships that have shaped his life and his music.  From his traditional Italian family to larger than life names like Chaplin, Porter and Astaire, Tony shares the value of living in full and learning from every experience.



Grammy Lifetime Achievement Pretty Page Turner reviewThe Tribute
A Grammy Salute to Music Legends: All-Star Artists Pay Tribute to Their Musical Heroes

Many of us will never sit in the seats of the Grammy presentation, but with this book we all get the opportunity to own and read something that every Grammy attendee receives.   Each year, attendees are offered an invitation to write a tribute to recipient awards of the Lifetime Achievement Award.   This compilation of essays shows the relationships we often know about (Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson) as well as others that are more obscure.  Enjoy the trail of history and musical influence as artists get the chance to speak to their greatest heroes, inspirations and colleagues, and maybe fan-out just a little.