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Happy Women’s History Month!

March serves to commemorate and celebrate the vital role of women in society — including the ways in which women have shaped and progressed the music world.

Some of music’s greatest female artists have given fans a firsthand account of their influence, sharing the obstacles they’ve overcome and the triumphs they deserved in powerful, moving memoirs.

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In honor of Women’s History Month, we’ve compiled 10 of our favorite memoirs by female musicians. See them below.

The Meaning of Mariah Carey by Mariah Carey

The elusive chanteuse gives a candid, unfiltered story of her life in her memoir, chronicling “the ups and downs, the triumphs and traumas, the debacles and the dreams, that contributed to the person I am today.”

“Writing this memoir was incredibly hard, humbling and healing,” Carey wrote in the description. “My sincere hope is that you are moved to a new understanding, not only about me, but also about the resilience of the human spirit.”

Available in hardcover, kindle and audiobook here.

Just Kids by Patti Smith

The National Book Award-winning, coming-of-age memoir has become a staple in music literature, with Smith highlighting her youth alongside Robert Mapplethorpe as artists chasing their dreams in New York City.

Available in hardcover and audio CD here.

Lady Sings the Blues by Billie Holiday

Holiday’s wildly honest autobiography chronicles the iconic jazz singer’s difficult Baltimore upbringing in which she ran errands at a whorehouse all the way through her thriving music career — touching on the devastating racism Holiday experienced and the heroin addiction that ended her life too soon.

Available in hardcover, paperback and Kindle here.

More Myself: A Journey by Alicia Keys

Part autobiography, part narrative documentary, Keys shares her path from her childhood in Hell’s Kitchen and Harlem to stardom, pulling the curtain back on her “complex relationship with her father, the people-pleasing nature that characterized her early career, the loss of privacy surrounding her romantic relationships, and the oppressive expectations of female perfection.”

Available in hardcover, paperback and Kindle here.

Dolly: My Life and Other Unfinished Business by Dolly Parton

Parton’s 1994 memoir delves deep into her life since leaving home at age 18 to pursue a music career, touching on ” her personal philosophies, her marriage, her friendships, and achievements.”

Available in hardcover, paperback and audio cassette here.

Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein

Named after her lyric in “Modern Girl,” the Sleater-Kinney guitarist shares her experience leaving a difficult family situation and propelling into a world where music heals, invents and creates a sense of community. The funny, candid look on her life also chronicles the flourishing excitement of the era’s era’s independent music subculture.

Available in paperback, audiobook and Kindle here.

Happiness Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life for Good by Tina Turner

The living legend shed light on her path to peace in her memoir, in which she details how her Buddhist practices helped her out of the darkest times of her life.

Available in hardcover, audiobook and Kindle here.

A Natural Woman by Carole King

The deeply personal memoir touches on King’s extraordinary life that inspired Broadway’s Beautiful, chronicling “her journey as a performer, mother, wife and present-day activist.”

Available in paperback, audiobook and Kindle here.

Reba: My Story by Reba McEntire

In her characteristically down-to-earth memoir, the country superstar tells the funny, inspiring tale of her life from “her childhood in Oklahoma working cattle with her ranching family to her days on the rodeo competition circuit, from her early days as a performer in honky-tonks to her many awards and a sold-out appearance at Carnegie Hall.”

Available in paperback, hardcover and Kindle here.

I Put a Spell on You by Nina Simone

Simone shares her powerful, triumphant and tempestuous life in her memoir, moving through the highest highs of her career success and the lowest lows of failed marriages, arrest and the threat of imprisonment, mental breakdown, poverty and attempted suicide.

Available in hardcover and paperback here.


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