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Grace Jones was one of the more unforgettable characters to emerge from New York City's hedonistic Studio 54 disco scene during the late '70s. Born May 19, 1952, in Kingston, Jamaica, Jones studied theater at Syracuse University before launching a career as a model. Jones' statuesque and flamboyant look proved to be a hit in the New York City nightclub scene, which led to a recording contract with Island Records in 1977. While such disco-based albums as 1977's Portfolio, 1978's Fame, and 1979's Muse failed to break the singer commercially, Jones soon amassed a substantial following among gay men with her sexually charged live show, leading to her title at the time of "Queen of the Gay Discos."
But with the dawn of the '80s came a massive anti-disco movement across the U.S., leading to Jones focusing on more new wave and experimental-based work, resulting in two of her best-known and strongest releases -- 1980's Warm Leatherette and 1981's Nightclubbing -- both produced by the noted reggae team of Sly & Robbie (the latter release spawned one of Jones' biggest hits, "Pull Up to the Bumper," as well as covers of Iggy Pop's "Nightclubbing" and the Police's "Demolition Man"). It was also around this time that Jones changed her look to suit the times by replacing her S&M look of the '70s with a detached, androgynous image. Jones' sixth solo release overall, Living My Life, followed in 1982, while the singer took a break from recording to focus on film work and landed roles in such movies as Conan the Destroyer and the James Bond flick A View to a Kill (Jones' romantic life also provided tabloid fodder at the time when she was linked with Rocky IV star Dolph Lundgren).
Jones eventually returned to her recording career, enlisting super-producer Trevor Horn (Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Yes) to oversee 1985's Slave to the Rhythm, which turned out to be a somewhat autobiographical work (the same year, a ten-track compilation was issued as well, Island Life). Jones' penchant for working with big-name producers continued on 1986's Inside Story; with production chores handled by Chic's Nile Rodgers, the album spawned one of Jones' last successful singles, "I'm Not Perfect (But I'm Perfect for You)." After 1989's Bulletproof Heart, Jones seemed to turn her back on her recording career (although 1993 saw the release of a new single, "Sex Drive"), as she again focused primarily on movies, including a role in Eddie Murphy's hit 1992 comedy Boomerang. The double-disc set Private Life: The Compass Point Sessions (a collection of 26 tracks that Jones recorded with Sly & Robbie during their early-'80s union) was released in 1998, which was followed up four years later with Island Life, Vol. 2. She returned to music in 2008 with Hurricane, an album featuring contributions from Brian Eno, Wendy & Lisa, Tony Allen, and others. In 2011 the album was re-released with a bonus disc featuring dubs created by producer Ivor Guest.
Grace Jones (born 19 May 1948 ) is a Jamaican singer, actress and model.
Jones started out as a model, regularly appearing at the New York City nightclub Studio 54. Jones secured a record deal with Island Records in 1977, which resulted in a string of dance-club hits. In the late 1970s, she adapted the emerging electronic music style and adopted a severe, androgynous look. Jones found mainstream success in Europe, particularly the United Kingdom, scoring Top 40 entries on the UK Singles Chart. Her albums include Warm Leatherette, Nightclubbing and Slave to the Rhythm, and her biggest hits are "Pull Up to the Bumper", "I've Seen That Face Before (Libertango)", "Private Life", "Slave to the Rhythm" and "I'm Not Perfect (But I'm Perfect for You)".
Her acting occasionally overshadowed her musical output in America, but not in Europe, where her profile as a recording artist was much higher. She appeared in some low-budget films in the 1970s and early 1980s. Her work as an actress in mainstream film began in the 1984 fantasy-action film Conan the Destroyer alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the 1985 James Bond movie A View to a Kill. In 1986 she played a vampire in Vamp, and both acted in and contributed a song to the 1992 film Boomerang with Eddie Murphy. In 2001, she appeared in Wolf Girl alongside Tim Curry.
Life and career 
1948-65: Early life in Jamaica, and New York state 
Grace Jones was born in 1948 in Spanish Town, Jamaica, the daughter of Marjorie and Robert W. Jones, who was a politician and Apostolic clergyman. Jones had a very strict religious upbringing; from a young age, she rebelled against her parents expectations of her. Jones explored her inner tomboy by hiding in trees, and her inner vanity by painting her fingernails, immediately removing the polish when she heard her parents arriving home. Her parents took Grace and her brothers, Chris and Noel Jones, and relocated to Syracuse, New York in 1965, where she studied theatre at Syracuse University.Spanish Town, Saint Catherine, Jamaica, Jones' birth place
Modelling career, first acting role, Island Records: Portfolio, Fame, and Muse 
Signing with one of New York's top agencies, Jones launched her modelling career in the 1970s. Her features were too strong for American magazines at that time; one day, leaving her agency, she met the modelling agent Claude Mohammed Haddad in an elevator. When asked what was wrong, she responded, "They don't like black people in this country." Haddad proposed that she move to Paris and model at his Euro Planning agency. Jones accepted his offer, and her exotic features attracted the Parisian fashion circuit to her. The European fashion scene was the place for Jones to be, and she became a sought-after model to the European designers, particularly Azzedine Alaia, Jones became their muse and was frequently photographed promoting their line, during this time Jones shared an apartment with Jerry Hall and Jessica Lange. Hall and Jones frequented the Club Sept, one of Paris' most popular gay clubs of the 1970s and '80s. Jones mingled with Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio Armani, Karl Lagerfeld, and Pat Cleveland. In 1973, Jones made her acting debut in the film Gordon's War, Jones played the role of Mary, a Harlem drug courier. Having enjoyed a successful modelling career, Jones secured a record deal with Beam Junction, acquired by Island Records in 1977, which resulted in a string of dance-club hits and a large gay following. Her début, disco-oriented album Portfolio was released in 1977 to a considerable success, and spawned hits "I Need a Man" and "La Vie en rose". Two more albums followed, Fame in 1978 and Muse in 1979, which generated more pop melodies set to a disco beat, such as "Do or Die" or "On Your Knees". Although popular in the club market, her first three albums failed to break the mainstream sales charts. Once in New York again, Jones hit all the hottest clubs. She partied with Andy Warhol at Studio 54. The colourful artwork and design for Jones's three first albums and accompanying single releases were created by one of Warhol's long-time collaborators, Richard Bernstein, arguably best known for his cover illustrations for Interview Magazine in the 1970s and early 1980s. In 1978, she appeared with the French model and singer Amanda Lear in the Italian TV series Stryx.
1979-85: Transition into the "New Wave" genre, and mainstream success as an actress 
At the beginning of the 1980s, Jones adapted the emerging New Wave music to create a different style for herself. Still with Island, and now working with producers Chris Blackwell, Alex Sadkin and the Compass Point All Stars, and recording at Blackwell's Compass Point Studios in Nassau, Bahamas, she released the album Warm Leatherette in 1980. This included re-imaginings of songs by The Pretenders ("Private Life"), Roxy Music ("Love Is the Drug"), Tom Petty ("Breakdown"), The Normal ("Warm Leatherette") and Smokey Robinson ("The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game"). The record met with even greater success than her previous disco albums and the song "Private Life" was her first to enter UK Singles Chart, and still remains one of her highest-charting singles in that country. Parallel to her musical shift was an equally dramatic visual makeover, created in partnership with stylist Jean-Paul Goude. Jones adopted a distinctive androgynous appearance, with square-cut hair and angular, padded clothes. The cover photographs of Warm Leatherette and Nightclubbing exemplified this new identity. 1981 saw the release of Nightclubbing, a rapid follow-up to Warm Leatherette. Jones chose a number of well-known hits to reinterpret, including Iggy Pop's and David Bowie's "Nightclubbing" and Ástor Piazzolla's "I've Seen That Face Before (Libertango)". The latter would become one of the Jones's most recognizable tunes and the self-penned, post-disco dance track "Pull Up to the Bumper" spent seven weeks at No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart, and became a Top 5 single on the U.S. R&B chart when released as a single in the fall of 1981. However, both Warm Leatherette and Nightclubbing albums also included a few tracks co-written by Jones herself, such as "A Rolling Stone" and "Feel Up". In the UK, Nightclubbing claimed the number one slot on music magazine New Musical Express' Album of the Year listing.
In 1981 and 1982, Jones toured the UK, Continental Europe, Scandinavia and the USA with her One Man Show, a performance art/pop theatre presentation devised by Jean-Paul Goude and Jones, in which she performed tracks from the albums Portfolio, Warm Leatherette and Nightclubbing dressed in elaborate costumes and masks – in the opening sequence as a gorilla – and alongside a series of Grace Jones lookalikes. A video version, filmed live in London and New York City and completed with some studio footage, was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Long-Form Music Video next year. Her collaboration with Blackwell, Sadkin and the Compass Point All Stars continued with the dub reggae-influenced album Living My Life (1982), which featured the self-penned "My Jamaican Guy", sung in patois and a cover of "The Apple Stretching" by Melvin Van Peebles. In 1984, Jones's work as an actress in mainstream film began, with the role of Zula, the Amazon, in Conan the Destroyer alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger and former NBA player Wilt Chamberlain. She next landed the role of May Day in the fourteenth James Bond film A View to a Kill (1985).
Jones teamed up with Trevor Horn and Bruce Woolley for the conceptual musical collage Slave to the Rhythm, which was released in the fall of 1985. The album consisted of several re-workings of the title track. Although never charted in the Hot 100, the single did well on the R&B charts, dance charts, and in the UK, peaking at number 12. Slave to the Rhythm, together with Warm Leatherette and Nightclubbing albums, is now recognized as one of Jones's best works. In December, her first retrospective album was released. Island Life collected most of the singles from her 1977 début up to recent 1985 hits. It included new versions of Love Is the Drug, which charted again, as so did "Pull Up to the Bumper".
1986-99: Inside Story, Vamp, Bulletproof Heart, and Boomerang 
After leaving Island, Jones signed with Manhattan Records for the 1986 release of Inside Story, on which she worked with Nile Rodgers. It 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. She also appeared in the vampire film Vamp where she played the queen vampire, Katrina.
Her ninth studio album, Bulletproof Heart (1989), spawned the Number 1 U.S. Hot Dance Club Play hit "Love on Top of Love (Killer Kiss)", produced by C+C Music Factory's David Cole and Robert Clivillés. The second and the final single, "Amado Mio", was a cover version of the song used in the 1946 film Gilda and originally performed by Rita Hayworth. In 1992 Jones appeared in the Eddie Murphy film Boomerang, for which she also contributed the song "7 Day Weekend" to its soundtrack, and released two more soundtrack songs in 1992; "Evilmainya", recorded for the film Freddie as F.R.O.7, and "Let Joy and Innocence Prevail" for the film Toys. She recorded two albums during the 1990s, but they remain unreleased or unfinished thus far. In 1994, she was due to release an electro album titled Black Marilyn with artwork featuring the singer as Marilyn Monroe. "Sex Drive" was released as the first single; due to disagreements with producers, the record was shelved. In June 1998, she was scheduled to release an album entitled Force of Nature, on which she worked with trip hop musician Tricky. The release of Force of Nature was cancelled due to a disagreement between the two and only a white label 12" single featuring two dance mixes of "Hurricane (Cradle to the Grave)" was issued; a slowed-down version of this song became the title track of her comeback album released ten years later. Jones made "Storm" in 1998 for the movie The Avengers. In 1999 she appeared in an episode of the Beastmaster television series as the Umpatra Warrior.
2000-present: Hurricane (2008 album), and upcoming projects 
In 2000, Jones recorded "The Perfect Crime", an up-tempo song for Danish TV written by the composer duo Floppy M. aka Jacob Duus and Kåre Jacobsen. Also in 2000, Jones collaborated with rapper Lil' Kim, appearing on the song "Revolution" from her album The Notorious K.I.M.. A year later, she appeared alongside Tim Curry in Wolf Girl (also known as Blood Moon), as a intersexed circus performer named Christoph/Christine. On 28 May 2002, she performed on stage in Modena, Italy with Italian opera tenor Luciano Pavarotti during his annual Pavarotti and Friends concert to support the UN refugee agency's programs for Angolan refugees in Zambia. Together they performed the aria "Pourquoi me réveiller" from Jules Massenet's opera Werther. In November 2004, Jones sang her hit "Slave to the Rhythm" at a tribute concert for record producer Trevor Horn at London's Wembley Arena. In February 2006, Jones was the celebrity runway model for Diesel's show in New York.
Producer Ivor Guest confirmed that he and Jones had completed recording her new album in 2007. Other participants on the album included the original Compass Point All Stars line-up, including Sly and Robbie, Mikey Chung and Wally Badarou, joined by Brian Eno, Bruce Woolley, Tricky and Tony Allen. The Hurricane album (initially to be titled Corporate Cannibal) was released on 27 October 2008, on Wall of Sound/PIAS Records, meeting with positive reviews. Corporate Cannibal became the album's lead single, with its music video directed by Nick Hooker. Jones embarked on a concert tour and appeared at Secret Garden Party and Latitude Festival to promote the new album. Chris Cunningham produced a fashion shoot for Dazed & Confused using Jones as a model to create "Nubian versions" of Rubber Johnny. In an interview for BBC's The Culture Show, it was suggested that the collaboration may expand into a video project. Jones also worked with the avant-garde poet Brigitte Fontaine on a duet named "Soufi" from Fontaine's album Prohibition released in 2009, and produced by Ivor Guest. In 2010 Grace Jones performed at Royal Albert Hall, receiving rave reviews, while a budget DVD version of A One Man Show was released, as Grace Jones – Live in Concert, with 3 bonus video clips ("Slave to the Rhythm", "Love Is the Drug" and "Crush". 2011 saw Jones again collaborating with Brigitte Fontaine on two tracks from her 2011 release entitled L'un n'empêche pas l'autre and performed at the opening ceremony of the 61st FIFA Congress.
In 2012, Jones performed during the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II and during Lovebox Festival. On 27 October Jones performed her only North American show of 2012, a performance at New York City's Roseland Ballroom.
Androgynous image, and influence on other artists 
""I was amazed when I first saw Grace Jones. She was the first to take radical fashion out of its predictable Parisian context and bring it into the music scene, where I had always thought it belonged. The first night watching her in language, I had already decided to work with her. That night she was singing her hit song "I Need a Man" to a room full of shrieking gay bobbysockses. The ambiguity of her act was that she herself looked like a man - a man, singing "I Need a Man" to a bunch of men. I could see how the average guy would find her physique intimidating. It was so powerful. I thought she was.. I thought she was great".—Jean-Paul Goude
Jean-Paul Goude was responsible for Jones's dramatic transformation, the distinctive androgynous appearance, the square-cut and angular padded clothes. Goude is the artist behind many of Jones's album covers; her first two albums with Chris Blackwell and the Compass Point All Stars, Warm Leatherette (1980), and Nightclubbing (1981), which featured a charcoal skinned Jones sporting an angular padded blazer, and a cigarette in her lips. In 1982, Jones's One Man Show was released, a performance art presentation devised by Goude and Jones herself, in which she performed tracks from the albums Portfolio, Warm Leatherette and Nightclubbing dressed in elaborate costumes and masks – in the opening sequence as a gorilla – and alongside a series of Grace Jones lookalikes. Goude photographed Jones for her next album, Living My Life (1982), then in 1985 for Slave to the Rhythm, and Island Life Jones's first compilation album. In 1989 Goude photographed Jones for her last album in nineteen years, Bulletproof Heart, the two recently teamed up again in 2008 to photograph, the dub re-release of Jones's latest album, Hurricane featuring Jones smoking a cigarette whilst wearing a sparkling hat.
Jones's striking appearance, height of (5'9" or 1.75 m, some sources claim 5'8"), and manner influenced the cross-dressing movement of the 1980s. To this day, she is known for her unique look at least as much as she is for her music and has been an inspiration for numerous artists, including Madonna, Annie Lennox, Lady Gaga, Rihanna,, Brazilian Girls Róisín Murphy, Nile Rodgers, Santigold, and Basement Jaxx. Jones was listed as one of the fifty best-dressed over 50s by the Guardian in March 2013. For his 2013 Spring/Summer campaign, fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier channelled Jones, using model Jeneil Williams.
Music and voice 
Jones released three disco based albums, amassing a substantial following. With the dawn of the 1980s, and the Anti-disco movement spreading across the U.S., she transitioned into New Wave music. More recently, Jones has embarked on Electronic and Experimental-based genres of music. Jones has a contralto vocal range. She sings in two modes: either in her monotone speak-sing voice as in songs such as "Private Life", "Walking in the Rain" and "The Apple Stretching", or in an almost-soprano mode in songs such as "La Vie en Rose", "Slave to the Rhythm", and "Victor Should Have Been a Jazz Musician". Jones's voice spans two and a half octaves.
Jones is reportedly late when she performs live, and her performances are said to be "wild"; fans have recalled performances where she hurled champagne bottles into the audience, smoked joints on stage, performed naked, stormed off stage, and storm right back onto it as if nothing ever happened. In 2012, Jones performed for millions at Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee Concert. The same year, Jones performed at the Lovebox Festival, humping and gyrating her way through a one hour and fifteen minute time slot, Jones continued to change outfits between every song.
Music videos 
The majority of Jones's music videos have been directed by long-time collaborator, Jean-Paul Goude. This includes "I've Seen That Face Before (Libertango)", "My Jamaican Guy", "Living My Life", and "Slave to the Rhythm". The two revisited, and created a video for "Love Is the Drug" from the 1980 album Warm Leatherette. Keith Haring directed the video for Jones's 1986 single, "I'm Not Perfect (But I'm Perfect for You)", which featured Andy Warhol. On the video "Corporate Cannibal", the first single off Hurricane, Jones collaborated with artist Nick Hooker. Jones had seen his work for U2 and Hooker chose the song he made the video for. Chris Levine, a lighting and installation designer, collaborated with Jones on the music video for the third single off the album, "Love You to Life". The two also collaborated on Stillness at the Speed of Light, an exhibition at the Vinyl Factory in Soho, London. The exhibition showcased two slow motion animated stills of Jones, "Stillness at the Speed of Light", and "Superstar"; it ran from 30 April to 14 May 2010. Levine was also responsible for laser installation pieces that were seen at Jones's Royal Albert Hall concert in 2008.
In 2002, Jones joined Luciano Pavarotti on stage for his annual Pavarotti and Friends fundraiser concert to support the United Nations refugee agency's programs for Angolan refugees in Zambia.
In March 2010 Jones performed for guests at the 18th annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Award Viewing Party. The Elton John AIDS Foundation is one of the world's leading nonprofit HIV/AIDS organizations supporting innovative HIV prevention programs, and works to eliminate stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS. That evening, US$3.7 million was raised. Sir Elton John expressed his gratitude towards Jones, saying:
Personal life 
Family and relationships 
Jones is the daughter of Marjorie and Robert W. Jones, who was a politician and Apostolic clergyman. Jones was raised as one of seven siblings, one of whom is Bishop Noel Jones. Jones has a son, Paulo, a member of the band Trybez, from her relationship with Jean-Paul Goude. Through Paulo, Grace has a granddaughter. Jones has been married twice; her first husband was producer Chris Stanley, whom she married in 1989. She married her second husband, bodyguard Atila Altaunbay, in 1996. Swedish actor, Dolph Lundgren originally worked as Grace's bodyguard before they took a romantic turn. They were together for four years; Jones is also responsible for Lundgren's acting career as she got him a part as a KGB officer in, A View to a Kill. Jones splits her time between apartments in London, New York, Paris, and Venice.
Idiosyncrasies and media controversies 
In 1981, Jones, appearing alongside noted psychotherapist Sonja Vetter, slapped chat show host Russell Harty across the face live on air after he turned to interview other guests and she felt she was being ignored. 1989, Kingston, Jamaica, Jones was arrested on charges of cocaine possession. Tests of Jones’ blood and urine detected no sign of cocaine or other illegal drugs. Her defence lawyer Tom Tavares contended that the drugs has been planted on Jones. When the trial began after seven postponements, Jones was asked how she pleaded to the charges against her, she responded, “Not guilty.” In April 2005, Eurostar accused Jones of grabbing a manager's arm and verbally abusing her. Eurostar said "Jones was thrown off the Paris to London train at Ashford, Kent". Jones said she requested to be let off. She left the train after British Transport Police were called and the service was delayed by fifteen minutes. Eurostar said "the row erupted because Jones had a first class ticket but refused to pay extra after sitting in the premium area."
Jones did not always get along with her leading men - Arnold Schwarzenegger supposedly complained Grace was "too tough" during the filming of Conan the Destroyer, and Roger Moore commented he did not find it at all pleasurable working with Jones during the filming of A View to a Kill.