Grace Jones

Grace Jones

Grace Beverly Jones OJ (born 19 May 1948) is a Jamaican, model, singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. Born in Jamaica, she moved when she was 13, along with her siblings, to live with her parents in Syracuse, New York. Jones began her modelling career in New York state, then in Paris, working for fashion houses such as Yves St. Laurent and Kenzo, and appearing on the covers of Elle and Vogue. She worked with photographers such as Jean-Paul Goude, Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, and Hans Feurer, and became known for her distinctive androgynous appearance and bold features.

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“[My childhood] was all about the Bible and beatings. We were beaten for any little act of dissent, and hit harder the worse the disobedience. It formed me as a person, my choices, men I have been attracted to… It was a profoundly disciplined, militant upbringing, and so in my own way, I am very militant and disciplined. Even if that sometimes means being militantly naughty, and disciplined in the arts of subversion. .”

— Grace Jones, 2015.

Jones’s father was strict and their relationship was strained. According to his particular denomination’s beliefs, one should only use one’s singing ability to glorify God. Bishop Robert W. Jones died on 7 May 2008. Her mother, Marjorie, always supported Jones’s career (she sings on “Williams’ Blood” and “My Jamaican Guy”) but could not be publicly associated with her music. Marjorie’s father, William, was also a musician, and played with Nat King Cole.

Jones described her childhood as having been “crushed underneath the Bible”, and since has refused to enter a Jamaican church due to her bad childhood experiences.

Through her relationship with longtime collaborator Jean-Paul Goude, Jones has one son, Paulo. From Paulo, Jones has one granddaughter. Jones married Atila Altaunbay in 1996. She disputes rumors that she married Chris Stanley in her 2015 memoir I’ll Never Write My Memoirs, saying, “The truth is, I only ever married one of my boyfriends, Atila Altaunbay, a Muslim from Turkey.” She spent four years with Swedish actor Dolph Lundgren, her former bodyguard; she was the one who got him a part as a KGB officer in A View to a Kill. Jones started dating Danish actor and stuntman Sven-Ole Thorsen in 1990, and was in an open relationship as of 2007.

Jones’s brother is megachurch preacher Bishop Noel Jones, who starred on the 2013 reality show Preachers of LA.

Jones’s real last name is often referred to as “Mendoza”, which is actually a name she used in her 20s to fool her parents.

In the beginning

Beginning in 1977, Jones embarked on a music career, securing a record deal with Island Records and initially becoming a star of New York City’s Studio 54-centered disco scene. In the early 1980s, she moved toward a new wave style that drew on reggae, funk, post-punk and pop music, frequently collaborating with both the graphic designer Jean-Paul Goude and the musical duo Sly & Robbie. Her most popular albums include Warm Leatherette (1980), Nightclubbing (1981), and Slave to the Rhythm (1985). She scored Top 40 entries on the UK Singles Chart with “Pull Up to the Bumper”, “I’ve Seen That Face Before”, “Private Life”, and “Slave to the Rhythm”. In 1982, she released the music video collection A One Man Show, directed by Goude.

Music

Vice described Jones’s musical output as “weird, vibrant and progressive,” stating that she “has woven disco, new wave, post-punk, art-pop, industrial, reggae, and gospel into a tight sound that is distinctly hers, threaded together with lilting, powerful vocals.” Her early music was rooted in disco.

23
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2020