Grace Jones (born Grace Mendoza on May 19, 1948, in Spanish Town, Jamaica) is a model, singer and actress.

Early life

The daughter of a preacher, her parents took Grace and her younger brother, Bishop Noel Jones, to relocate to Syracuse, New York. Before becoming a successful model in New York City and Paris, Grace studied theatre at Syracuse University.

Musical career

Jones secured a record deal with Island Records in 1977, which resulted in a string of dance club hits and a large gay following. The three disco albums she recorded — Portfolio (1977), Fame (1978), and Muse (1979) — generated considerable success in that market. During this period, she also became a muse to Andy Warhol, who photographed her extensively. Jones also accompanied him to famed New York City nightclub Studio 54 on many occasions.

Towards the end of the 1970s, Jones adapted the emerging New Wave music to create a different style for herself. Still with Island, and now working with producers Alex Sadkin and Chris Blackwell, she released the acclaimed albums Warm Leatherette (1980) and Nightclubbing (1981). These included re-imaginings of songs by Sting, Iggy Pop, The Pretenders, Roxy Music, Flash and the Pan, The Normal, Ástor Piazzolla and Tom Petty, as well as originals like the UK Top 20 hit, "Private Life."

Parallel to her musical shift was an equally dramatic visual makeover, created in partnership with stylist Jean-Paul Goude, whom she eventually married and by whom she had a son. Jones adopted a severe, androgynous look with square-cut hair and angular, padded clothes. The iconic cover photographs of Nightclubbing and, subsequently, Slave to the Rhythm (1985) exemplified this new identity. To this day, Jones is known for her unique look at least as much as she is for her music. Her collaboration with Sadkin and Blackwell continued with the dub reggae-influenced album Living My Life.

In the mid 1980s, she worked with Trevor Horn for the conceptual musical collage Slave to the Rhythm and with producer Nile Rodgers for Inside Story (1986) - her first album after leaving the Island Records label. The well-received Slave to the Rhythm consisted of several re-workings of the title track (the single of which hit #12 in the UK) while Inside Story produced her last Billboard Hot 100 hit to date, "I'm Not Perfect (But I'm Perfect For You)," one of several songs she co-wrote with Bruce Woolley.[1] Bulletproof Heart (1989) spawned the #1 U.S. Hot Dance Music/Club Play hit "Love on Top of Love - Killer Kiss," produced by C+C Music Factory's David Cole and Robert Clivilles. Although she yet to become a truly mainstream recording artist in the United States, much of her musical output is still popular on the Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play and Hot Dance Airplay charts and many of her songs are regarded as classics to this day. Jones was able to find mainstream success in the United Kingdom, scoring a number of Top 40 entries on the UK Singles Chart. To date, she has released 43 singles (commercial and/or promotional), including several non-album tracks.


Grace Jones is a contralto vocalist. Grace is often criticized for having a flat voice, when she is in-fact a highly stylized vocalist. She sings in two modes; her monotonous talk-sing as in songs like "Private Life", "Walking in the Rain" and "The Apple Stretching" and in an almost soprano mode in such songs as "La Vie en Rose" and "Slave to the Rhythm". link Her vocal range spands two octaves. She had a significant voice part in Arcadia's 1985 song and video, "Election Day", from the album So Red the Rose.

Style and image

Grace Jones' masculine attire, height (5' 10½" (1.79 m)) and manner was a clear influence on the 'power dressing' movement of the 1980s, and on musical artists such as Annie Lennox of Eurythmics.[citation needed] She would also exemplify the "box" haircut style in the 1970s, which would be worn by many black men all over America throughout much of the next decade, notably Larry Blackmon of the funk group Cameo. She maintained parallel recording and acting careers, her film roles and modelling work often overshadowed her musical output. Her strong visual presence extended to her stage work. In her performances she adopted various personas and wore outlandish costumes, particularly during her years with Goude. One such performance was at the Paradise Garage in 1985, wherein she collaborated with visual artist Keith Haring for her costume. Haring painted her body in tribal patterns and fitted her with wire armor.[2] The muralist also painted her body for the video to "I'm Not Perfect (But I'm Perfect for You)."

Recent career

Grace Jones continues to perform. In November 2004, she sang her hit "Slave to the Rhythm" at a tribute concert for Trevor Horn at Wembley Arena. She received rave reviews, despite being absent in the music scene for some time.[citation needed] In February 2006, Jones was the celebrity runway model for Diesel's show in New York.

On October 20, 2006, the 3-CD box set Ultimate Collection was released in Europe by the CCM label, in a limited edition. On November 3, 2006, Jones took part in a gathering of people sharing the surname, performing "Slave to the Rhythm" and "Pull up to the Bumper" to a large crowd of Joneses. 1,224 people were gathered that day at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff, breaking the previous record for the largest surname-based gathering.[3]

Producer Ivor Guest has confirmed that Grace has completed recording her new album, due out in 2007.[4] Nick Hooker has directed the first video from the upcoming album.[5] Other participants on the new album are Sly and Robbie, Brian Eno, Wally Badarou, Tricky, Uzziah 'Sticky' Thompson, Mikey 'Mao' Chung, Barry Reynolds, Martin Slattery, Philip Sheppard, Paulo Goude, Don-E and Tony Allen.[citation needed]

In April 2007, Version2 listed "Corporate Cannibal" as the new video directed by Nick Hooker for Grace Jones.[6]

Film career

Grace Jones as May Day in A View to a Kill

Jones' work as an actress in mainstream film first began with the role of Zula, the amazon in the 1984 film Conan the Destroyer alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger and NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain. Prior to this she appeared in low-budget films, often with sexually explicit content. She next landed the role of May Day, in the 1985 James Bond movie A View to a Kill.

She appeared in a number of other motion pictures including the 1986 vampire film, Vamp (wherein she used her Keith Haring body paint as part of her role as a vampiric exotic dancer) as well as the Eddie Murphy film Boomerang - for which she recorded the title song - in 1992. In 2001, she appeared alongside Tim Curry in Wolf Girl (aka Blood Moon), as a transvestite circus freakshow performer named Christoph/Christine. She also appeared in an episode of the Beastmaster television series as the Impatra Warrior.

Awards and nominations

Grace Jones is a three time Saturn Award nominee, a Grammy nominee and Razzie Award nominee:

Saturn Awards

  • 1985: Best Supporting Actress for Conan the Destroyer: Nomination
  • 1986: Best Supporting Actress for A View to a Kill: Nomination
  • 1987: Best Supporting Actress for Vamp: Nomination

Razzie Awards

  • 1988: Worst Supporting Actress for Siesta: Nomination

Grammy Awards

  • 1984: Best Long Form Music Video for her One Man Show: Nomination

MTV Video Music Award

  • 1986: Best Female Video for Slave To The Rhythm: Nomination


In 1981, Grace Jones slapped chat show host Russell Harty across the face live on air after he turned to interview other guests. This topped a 2006 BBC poll of the most shocking TV chat show moments.[7]

She was featured in the September 1987 issue of Playboy magazine with Dolph Lundgren.

In September 1998, Jones was banned from all Disney properties worldwide after baring her breasts in a concert at Walt Disney World.[8]

In April 2005, Jones was accused of verbally abusing a Eurostar train manager in a quarrel over a ticket upgrade and was either escorted off the train or left on her own accord, later saying she was mistreated. [9]

Personal life

Jones dated Dolph Lundgren in the 1980s. In February 1996, Jones was married to a bodyguard named Atila Altaunbay. She has a son named Apollo from her previous relationship with Jean-Paul Goude. As of 18 August 2006, she was engaged to Ivor Guest, the 4th Viscount Wimborne.

External links

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