On October 29, Prince's memoir, The Beautiful Ones, will be released, a remarkable chronicle of the making of an artist told through words, lyrics, drawings, photos, and other ephemera. In this story from the November issue of O, Jackson narrates his three-year journey of creation and collaboration and shares the objects from Prince's home, Paisley Park, that guided him along the way.

In December 2015, Susan Kamil, Random House's late publisher, poked her head into my office to say she'd received a call from the literary agent Esther Newberg. Newberg's client Prince wanted to write a book. Were we interested?

I've been a die-hard Prince fan since age 12. I grew up in a conservative religious family; when I was a kid in New York in the '80s, Prince was exactly the sort of character my parents desperately wanted me to steer clear of, which only made me more curious. The first songs of his I heard were funky and frankly sexual—even a cloistered kid like me got the point: "Do Me, Baby," "I Wanna Be Your Lover," "Little Red Corvette." Then came Purple Rain, which felt like a world inside my Walkman. The album was operatic, raunchy, an adventure, an escape.

From then on, I knew every word of every Prince song, plus every grunt and ad lib. Even as my musical tastes changed, it was Prince who rocked with me from the Harlem streets where I lived to the Upper East Side school I attended. Time has not cooled my Prince passion: I've been known to sing and crawl my way across the karaoke bar floor in a pretty credible reenactment of "When Doves Cry."

So yes, yes, I was interested.

Read the full story here: The Beautiful Ones' Editor Opens Up About Working on Prince's Memoir


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