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Paul Simon Biography in the Works

Noted critic Robert Hilburn will write the book with cooperation from the musician

Paul Simon performs on stage during a tour to promote his Graceland album in Harare, Zimbabwe on February 14th, 1987.

Paul Simon performs on stage in Zimbabwe in 1987. The musician will cooperate on a new official biography.

Penny Tweedie/Corbis

Paul Simon has signed off on a new biography that will be written by longtime music critic and author Robert Hilburn, the Associated Press reports. The book has neither a title, nor a publish date, but will see release via Simon & Schuster, who acquired the rights in a six-publisher auction.

“I thought seriously about writing my own memoir, but I’d rather devote my time to making music, which continues to hold my full attention,” Simon said in a statement. “I’m confident Robert Hilburn will write an insightful book. I enjoyed and admired his biography of Johnny Cash and I think he’ll tell my story well.”

Along with his book about Cash, The Life, Hilburn served as music critic and editor at the Los Angeles Times for over 30 years, and in 2009 he published his memoir, Corn Flakes with John Lennon (And Other Tales from a Rock ‘n’ Roll Life). Simon and Hilburn have known each other since the Seventies as well, and the author famously profiled the musician during a 1987 stop in Zimbabwe on Simon’s tour behind his seminal LP, Graceland.

In a statement, Hilburn promised his biography of Simon would “be a gripping, inspiring portrait of an artist, including the toughness and heart it requires to avoid giving in to the many factors — from rejection to self-doubt to writer’s block and complacency — that have derailed so many pop artists.”

Simon has been a pivotal figure in American music since the mid-1960s when he first garnered attention and acclaim for his work with Art Garfunkel. After the duo split in 1970, Simon embarked on a lengthy solo career that found him expanding his folk roots to encompass elements of pop, rock and various musical styles from around the world.

Back in February, Simon, now 73, mentioned to Rolling Stone that he was working on a new solo album, though he also spent much of 2014 touring alongside Sting. While the shows comprised solo sets from both artists, the pair also joined forces for a number of duets each night. “It’s really about exploring new possibilities,” Simon said. “We’ve both worked with reggae. This has the potential to be something special.”

In This Article: Paul Simon

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