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Jay-Z Joins Bizarre List of Musicians With Best-Selling Books


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If albums don't sell, might as well try books: 2010 has been a solid year for musicians on the New York Times' hardcover non-fiction best-sellers list. Jay-Z saw his "Decoded" join the ranks this week at Number Three, just ahead of Keith Richards' "Life." Ricky Martin's "Me" is holding strong at Number 22, and earlier this year Rosanne Cash's "Composed" arrived at 20 and Ozzy Osbourne's "I Am Ozzy" landed at Number Two. Patti Smith recently won the National Book Award for her memoir "Just Kids," which debuted at Number Seven in February.

The Times' non-fiction rankings have hosted a handful of names a literary-inclined music fan might expect to see, like Kurt Cobain's "Journals," which hit Number One in 2002, and Bob Dylan's "Chronicles," which stuck around the list for 19 weeks in 2004. Then there's a second camp of hard-partying all-stars with incredible stories to tell, like all of Mötley Crüe ("The Dirt"), Nikki Sixx specifically ("The Heroin Diaries"), their Sunset Strip pal Slash ("Slash"), fellow Cali rocker Anthony Kiedis ("Scar Tissue"), Marilyn Manson ("The Long Hard Road Out of Hell"), and the band that birthed the Toxic Twins, Aerosmith ("Walk This Way: The Autobiography of Aerosmith"). Groups with infamous internal strife have also generated hot books, like the Eagles' Don Felder's "Heaven and Hell" and Mary Wilson's "Dreamgirl: My Life as a Supreme."

A certain breed of rocker waits until mid-life to unleash the stories of his or her youth, like Eric Clapton, whose 2007 book "Clapton: The Autobiography" covered addiction, love affairs, and the tragic death of his toddler son. Jimmy Buffett's 1998 title "A Pirate Looks at Fifty," explored a plane crash and the war on drugs and debuted at Number One in 1998. Tina Turner's epic "I, Tina," explored the abuse she faced at the hands of her former husband, Ike and went on to become a paperback sensation.

And then there's Brian "Head" Welch, who can call himself the "former lead guitarist of Korn and the New York Times bestselling author of 'Save Me From Myself' " (yes, really), and Ted Nugent, who has both "bowhunter" and "best-selling author" on his résumé thanks to 2000's "God, Guns and Rock 'n' Roll." For the record, 50 Cent's "The 50th Law" charted on the advice, how-to and miscellaneous list.

[Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images]

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