Billy Joel to Revive Biography After Nixing Book in 2011 (Exclusive)

Billy Joel to Revive Biography After Nixing Book in 2011 (Exclusive)

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After getting $3 million advance, the singer scrapped his autobiography over marketing issues

Billy Joel's biography is back.

Joel received a massive $3 million advance from HarperCollins for his autobiography in 2011, only to cancel it on the brink of the book's publication.

Now the Piano Man has decided to revive it as an authorized biography, individuals with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap.

Joel will work with the ghost writer of the autobiography, Fred Schruers, on the book. One individual told TheWrap that Joel was inspired by the success of the authorized biography of Bruce Springsteen by Peter Ames Carlin. Released in November 2012, “Bruce” was well-received by critics and audiences alike.

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Joel originally planned to release “The Book of Joel” in June 2011, but canceled plans at the end of March of that year, saying, “I'm not all that interested in talking about the past.” In May of 2013, he told New York Times Sunday Magazine that he decided not to go through with the book after seeing HarperCollins’ marketing plan:

“Then I saw this marketing campaign — ‘Divorce, Depression and Drinking.’ We talked about some of those things, but that’s not the essence of the book. I realized that was going to be the nature of the campaign. They wanted more sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll, and there’s not that much in my life.”

Schruers declined to comment.

Update, September 13 11:25 a.m. PT: Joel's publicist, who initially declined to comment to TheWrap, has now issued a statement from Joel. “Fred Schruers is free to write whatever kind of book he wants based on the first-hand information he gathered during the time he spent with me. This has no relation whatsoever to any biography that was published about Bruce Springsteen or its subsequent commercial success.”

  • Terry Moran

    That is incorrect.
    The writer Billy Joel was working with on his autobiography decided [after Joel dropped the project] that he would write a book about Billy Joel on his own – as a biography.