I Would Die 4 U: Why Prince Became An Icon by Touré

 

i would die 4 u

 

Book Description

Celebrated journalist, TV personality, and award-winning author Touré investigates one of the most enigmatic and fascinating figures in contemporary American culture: PRINCE

Drawing on new research and enlivened by Touré’s unique pop-cultural fluency, I Would Die 4 U relies on surprising and in-depth interviews with Prince’s band members, former girlfriends, musicologists, and even Bible scholars to deconstruct the artist’s life and work.

Prince’s baby boomer status allowed him to play a wise older brother to the latchkey kids of generation X. Defying traditional categories of race, gender, and sexuality, he nonetheless presents a very traditional conception of religion and God in his music. He was an MTV megastar and a religious evangelist, using images of sex and profanity to invite us into a musical conversation about the healing power of God. By demystifying the man and his music, I Would Die 4 U shows us how Prince defined a generation.

My Review

I Would Die 4 U: Why Prince Became an Icon by Touré could have been a pretty straight forward and short book by simply stating that Prince is a musical genius, wore daring fashions, and had a sensuality that attracted both sexes. But, Touré chose to complete a much deeper investigation into what was happening in society during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s that made it possible for Prince to make such an impact. It states in the introduction,

” The rain is the Zeitgeist. And the person who had the umbrella open before the rain is an icon. That person knew what the generation was feeling before they really knew, before they were able to fully articulate their feelings. When the icon takes their place on the stage they don’t say, “Look at me!” They say, “When they look me, you’ll also be looking at you.” For generation X, one of these icons was Prince.”

I read some of the other reviews on this book and most seem to be disappointed that it was not a biography on Prince’s life. It clearly states in the description of I Would Die 4 U that this is an investigation and is based on research from people that were/are in Prince’s life and some that were in his innermost circle. Touré has done an excellent job of not only exposing Prince’s work ethic and personal demons but I Would Die 4 U goes much deeper in exploring why those of us that are Generation X’ers feel such a connection to Prince.

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of I Would Die 4 U: Why Prince Became an Icon by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating: 4 Stars

Remembering Whitney: My Story of Love, Loss, and the Night the Music Stopped by Cissy Houston

remembering whitney

Book Description

The definitive account of Whitney Houston’s astonishing life, ground-breaking career, and tragic death — complete with never-before-seen photographs — from the only one who truly knows the story behind the headlines: her mother, Cissy Houston.

Cissy has said little publicly about Whitney’s heart-breaking death. Now, for the first time, she opens up and shares the unbelievable story of her daughter’s life, as well as her own, and addresses Whitney’s brightest and darkest moments.

A legendary Grammy Award–winning gospel singer in her own right, Cissy Houston shows how the lessons from her own musical journey helped to shape Whitney’s career — from teaching Whitney to use her voice, to keeping her level-headed throughout her meteoric rise to fame.

With candor and respect, she sets the record straight about Whitney, exploring both her turbulent marriage and her misunderstood struggles with drug abuse. Cissy goes behind the tabloid headlines to show fans around the world the true, human side of a strong, successful — yet flawed — musical icon who died much too young.

My Review

Who is this book about? That is the question I asked repeatedly while reading Remembering Whitney by Cissy Houston and that is NOT a good thing. Cissy spent a great majority of the book telling about her background and her place in popular music history. It really had me scratching my head.

And, when Cissy does speak of her daughter I was in disbelief. Was Cissy really that naïve? Was she really in that much denial? Did she really not see any of the tabloids and/or the news? I do not believe that she did not know her child had a serious drug problem when the rest of the entire world knew.

The one section of the book that did surprise me was the mention of Bobby Brown. Most news outlets reported that the family thought Bobby was Whitney’s downfall and even when seeing Cissy on interviews one would assume she felt that same way but she says in the book:

“Yet unlike a lot of people, I don’t blame Bobby for introducing Nippy to drugs or for the things that ended up happening to her.”

Remembering Whitney does not shed any new light on Whitney than what we already knew by keeping up with pop culture. It is not normal for a parent to bury their child and just like when I saw Cissy walk behind the coffin out of the church during Whitney’s funeral, my heart broke when she wrote,

“Then they shoveled the dirt on top of the coffin, and just like that, my baby girl, my only daughter, was gone forever.”

DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of Remembering Whitney: My Story of Love, Loss, and the Night the Music Stopped by Cissy Houston by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

3 star rating