I Would Die 4 U

Why Prince Became an Icon

I Would Die 4 U

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


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.
  • Atria Books | 
  • 176 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476705491 | 
  • March 2013

Read an Excerpt

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About the Author

Photo by Jonathan Mannion


Touré is a cohost of MSNBC’s The Cycle and a columnist for Time.com. He is the author of four books, including Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness?, a New York Times and Washington Post notable book, and I Would Die 4 U: Why Prince Became an Icon. He lives in Brooklyn.