5 More Famous Musicians Who Became Incredible Authors

Coming April 23rd is singer and songwriter Devendra Banhart’s third book, and according to Pitchfork , this time it’s a collection of poetry. Entitled Weeping Gang Bliss Void Yab-Yum, it’s sure to be something to feast your eyes on.


Cover to "Weeping Gang Bliss Void Yab-Yum"
Image Via Amazon

After all, his last two books, both collaborations with Adam Tullie,  I Left My Noodle on Ramen Street and Unburdened by Meaning, sounded just as crazy, and they don’t disappoint. Trust me, I’ve seen some crazy things. Much like In His Own Write by John Lennon. He also was a singer and songwriter and – is this the second of third comparison to Devandra? – also wrote a book while touring. Published in 1964 while still in The Beatles, Lennon made the reader work to understand this Lewis Caroll-esque book filled with bizarre imagery, creative misspellings, and many meanings. He later released A Spaniard in the Works, which is also a pun.


Cover of "In His Own Write"
Image Via Amazon


But those two aren’t the only musicians who turned their songwriting abilities to old fashion writing. So come hither children and let me knowledge you on five more musicians who wrote books (in no particular order).


PS-Here’s the first article to which this is the sequel, the difficult second album, if you will.,



5. Louise Wener


A black and white image of Louise Wener
Image Via The Quietus

Back in 1993, the English rock band Sleeper were formed and two years later debuted with their studio album Smart. Their second album, The It Girl, was released in 1996 and earned the praise of music critic Jack Rabid from AllMusic who wrote:

“…though nothing is quite the total knockout of Smart’s InbetweenerThe It Girl is more consistently accomplished, with a broader palette of influences…and every song makes you feel something.”

Their third studio album, Pleased to Meet You, came in 1997  and quickly peaked at #7 on the UK Album chart. Sadly, in 1998 the band broke up.


The Band Sleeper looking at the camera with Louise Wener is the foreground

Fortunately, the lead singer of Sleeper, Louise Wener, continued writing, forming a prolific career, spanning from an article about motherhood published in The Guardian to several novels. Her first book is Goodnight Steve McQueen about a twenty-nine-year-old guitarist in a tragically unsuccessful rock band. That novel hit book shelves on March 15th, 2005 and later that same year on October 4th, her second novel The Perfect Play was released. A little over a year later her third novel, The Half Life of Stars about a British lawyer who disappears soon after the destruction of the space shuttle Columbia in 2003, hit book shelves on October 24th, 2006.

Upon the release of her fourth novel, Worldwide Adventures In Love, The Guardian wrote that now “perhaps [Wener] is more properly described as a novelist who used to dabble in pop”.


Cover of "Worldwide Adventures in Love"
Image Via Amazon

That’s funny, because Sleeper reunited in 2017 and the next year went on to headline an eleven-date tour in England and, according to NME, have a fourth album in the works. So I guess Louise Wener’s books and music are going to be on even ground.


4. Madonna


Madonna looking at the camera in a black dress with several crosses around her neck
Image Via Billboard


We all know who Madonna is, right?


Well, you might know some of these songs: “Like a Virgin”, “Like a Prayer”, “Vogue”, “Take a Bow,” and/or “4 Minutes”.

She wrote those. She produced those. She SANG those. She’s the queen of pop. And she’s richer than you (If you’re richer than Madonna then please reach out, we have much to discuss).


Cover of "The English Roses"
Image Via Amazon


You might not know it, but this entertainment star actually authored children’s books after signing a five-book contract with Callaway Arts & Entertainment. This started with 2003’s The English Roses, illustrated by Jeffrey Fulvimari, and in their review The Guardian commented that they were “most intrigued by its aspirational wistfulness”.

So am I.


3. Gloria Estefan


Gloria Estefan smiling at the camera
Image Via Famous Biographies


Ever heard the song “Conga”? You should. Straight from Miami Sound Machine’s ninth album – but only second English speaking album – Primitive Love, that music first graced our ears first in 1985 (Well, not my ears, I wasn’t born yet).

Seriously, go listen to it now and come back.

Okay, you know who sang that song? That was Cuban-American singer Gloria Estefan, and she’s no one-hit wonder. In fact, she’s won 3 Grammy Awards.

Seriously, you need to listen to that song.

She’s perfect. And she’s written books! Children’s books, just like Madonna, but her second children’s book, 2006’s Noelle’s Treasure Tale: A New Magically Mysterious Adventure – about a bulldog looking for long-lost pirate treasure – spent a week at No. 3 on the New York Times Bestseller list.


The back and front cover of "Noelle's Treasure Tale"
Image Via Barnes and Noble



Oh yeah, she and her husband, Emilio, wrote a cookbook called Estefan Kitchen which has over sixty delicious dishes. Yum!

Some people have it all. Good music, a good book, good food and a good dog!



2. Bob Dylan


A black and white image of Bob Dylan looking downwards
Image Via Ultimate Classic Rock


He won a Noble Prize for literature, he wrote a bunch of songs, he introduced the Beatles to many different things, he’s Bob Dylan, the man with two first names. Okay, his real name is Robert Zimmerman.

He’s also written several books.  The second book he wrote was a collection of lyrics and personal drawings called Writings and Drawings. It’s out of print. His third book a memoir called Chronicles, Volume One. There is no Volume Two, yet.

His first book is legendary.


An image Bob Dylan's "Tarantula"
Image Via Amazon


Written between 1965 and 1966, Tarantula never saw the light of day until 1971 because of an unfortunate motorcycle accident and, well, as from the mouth of Dylan, “Things were running wild at that point. It never was my intention to write a book”.

It’s a steam of consciousness book, something in the vein of William S Burroughs or Allen Ginsburg, and was given the spotlight in a 2003 Spin magazine article called the “Top Five Unintelligible Sentences from Books Written by Rock Stars” with the number one spot, specifically with this line:

“Now’s not the time to get silly, so wear your big boots and jump on the garbage clowns.”



1. Ringo Starr


Ringo Starr in a suit, tie, and wearing some snazzy glasses while he holds up a medal
Image Via Euronews


His name is Sir Richard Starkey and Family Guy needs to stop making fun of him. He was a member of Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, a little band called The Beatles, played drums for the Plastic Ono Band when Lennon was in charge and when Yoko Ono was in charge, and starred in the Ringo Star and the All Star Band.

He wrote the “No-No Song,” which is catchy, he sang “Goodnight,” which is beautiful, and he sang and wrote “Octopus’s Garden”.

He also wrote a book creatively titled Octopus’s Garden.


Cover of "Octopus's Garden"
Image Via Amazon


Published in 2013 and illustrated by Ben Cort, it’s basically the song lyrics with pictures. But you know what? That shows just how many mediums writing can be spread across because, when all is said and done, this book is delightful even on the rainiest of days.


A page from "Octopus's Garden" depicting an boy swimming through the ocean with the words "he'd let us in, know where we've been/in his octopus's garden in the shade"
Image Via Amazon
And isn’t that what books are for?


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Oxford University Opens Explicit Book Collection After 100 Years

Madonna and Oscar Wilde have more in common than their status as icons of the LGBT+ community: they’re both authors of ‘obscene’ works. After 136 years of censorship, Oxford University is opening its restricted collection—one of the world’s largest—to the public in a historic exhibition.


Madonna, author and curator of 'Sex'

Image Via


Though her pop star persona has somehow eclipsed her literary career, Madonna is the author of controversial coffee-table book SexThe carefully curated collection of erotic and soft-core photos landed her a spot in the Oxford Bodleian Library’s restricted collection alongside author superstars D.H. Lawrence and Oscar Wilde. Lawrence achieved lasting notoriety for his novel Lady Chatterley’s Loverthe distinctly not soft-core tale of an unsatisfied paraplegic’s wife… and her trysts with the estate gardener. The novel was famously subject to an intense obscenity trial: the copy from the trial itself recently sold for a record-breaking $72,689.


Wilde never wrote anything so overtly sexual, but at one point, society deemed his work obscene. The Picture of Dorian Gray faced controversy for its homosexual elements. In Oscar Wilde’s own sodomy trial, accusers used his work as evidence to convict him. Wilde’s imprisonment (and his work’s original placement in the restricted collection) is yet another example of how society has historically conflated homosexuality with deviancy. 


Oscar Wilde, author of 'The Picture of Dorian Gray'

Image Via


Curator Jennifer Ingleheart acknowledges the censorship and misjudgments of the past, and she has created the exhibit to explore “how ideas about sexuality and suitable reading material have changed over time.” The ideas Victorian librarians had about suitable reading material were, in a word, Victorian (read: prudish). These are the kinds of ideas that cause restricted sections. Somewhat unbelievably, Oxford University students (otherwise known as real adults) had until recently needed a tutor’s approval to access the collection. Starting on November 15, 2018, the Bodleian Library’s ‘obscene works’ will be available to the public for eight weeks.



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Madonna May Be Queen of Pop But She’s Also an Amazing Author

Today is our Queen-for-ever Madonna’s birthday! Happy BIRTHDAY girl! Her extraordinary and inspiring music business has become a “needless-to-say” and here I would like to unfold another perspective on this diva.


What inspired Madonna to create picture books is Kabbalah fable stories. Enjoying the deeper meaning hidden in the simple stories, Madonna dedicated herself to creating the books in order to convey the importance of following your heart. 




Image via



Her first publication The English Roses (2003) sold 40 million copies and topped the Children Picture Books list at New York Times


Notablyall the royalties from the books are donated to the Spirituality for Kids Foundation. What a kind diva.




Image via Amazon


Madonna’s The English Roses is a story of rivalry and friendship among schoolgirls in contemporary London. Four girls–Nicole, Amy, Charlotte, and Grace–are eleven years old and the very best of friends. They have sleepovers, picnics and ice-skating parties that exclude Binah, a beautiful girl whose seemingly perfect life makes them “green with envy.” However, when a feisty, pumpernickel-loving fairy godmother takes them on a magical journey, they learn to their great surprise that Binah’s life is not nearly as enviable as it had seemed.


This tale is cleverly told, with many teaspoonfuls of good humor. Children and adults alike engage with this story that celebrates friendship as much as it teaches compassion. Jeffrey Fulvimari’s illustrations are no less than stunning–they fill every page with vivacious black ink lines and gorgeous watercolor reminiscent of 1960s fashion sketches.



Madonna’s creativity is more than that, check her books out here!


Sincerely hope that our dazzling diva can keep her writing career! Happy Birthday to Madonna! <3



Featured Image Via Vancouver Sun