Sunday, May 19, 2013

May 19: Jamaican-American singer and actress Grace Jones is 65-years-old today.

Grace Jones's striking appearance, she's just under six feet in height, and mannerisms, 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 inspired numerous other artists.
Grace Jones was born in Spanish Town, Jamaica - the daughter of Marjorie and Robert W. Jones, who was a politician and Apostolic clergyman. Her parents took Grace and her brothers Chris and Bishop Noel Jones and relocated to Syracuse in 1965. Before becoming a successful model in New York City and Paris, Jones studied theatre at Onondaga Community College. In the 1973 film Gordon's War, Jones played the role of Mary, a Harlem drug courier.

Jones secured a record deal with Island Records in 1977, which resulted in a string of dance-club hits and a large gay following. During this period, she adapted the emerging electronic music style and adopted a severe, androgynous look with square-cut hair and angular, padded clothes.

The three disco-oriented albums she recorded in the mid to late 1970s,– Portfolio, Fame, and Muse – generated considerable success commercially. The albums consisted of pop melodies set to a disco beat, such as "On Your Knees" or "Do or Die" and standards such as "What I Did for Love" from musical A Chorus Line, Jacques Prévert's "Autumn Leaves," "Send in the Clowns" from Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music and Édith Piaf's signature tune "La Vie en rose."


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During this period, she also became a muse to Andy Warhol, who photographed her extensively. Jones also accompanied him to New York City nightclub Studio 54 on many occasions. The colorful artwork and design for Jones' three first albums and accompanying single releases were created by another of Warhol's longtime collaborators, Richard Bernstein, arguably best known for his many cover illustrations for Interview Magazine in the 1970s and early 1980s.

In 1978, she appeared with French model and singer Amanda Lear in the controversial six-episode Italian TV series Stryx.

In 1981, her "Pull Up to the Bumper" spent seven weeks at #2 on the U.S. Hot Dance Club Play chart, and became a Top 5 single on the U.S. R&B chart. Although she has yet to become a truly mainstream recording artist in the U.S., much of Jones's musical output is very popular in American clubs as many of the singles were hits on Billboard's Hot Dance Club Play and Hot Dance Airplay charts.

Jones has found mainstream success in Europe, particularly the U.K., scoring a number of Top 40 entries on the UK Singles Chart. Jones's most notable albums are Warm Leatherette, Nightclubbing and Slave to the Rhythm, while her biggest hits (other than "Pull Up to the Bumper") are "I've Seen That Face Before (Libertango)," "Private Life," "Slave to the Rhythm" and "I'm Not Perfect (But I'm Perfect for You).

In 2008, she released her latest album, Hurricane.

Jones is also an actress. 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.

At Roskilde Festival 2009
In April 2010 Grace Jones performed at Royal Albert Hall, receiving rave reviews. A One Man Show was released on DVD, as Grace Jones – Live in Concert, in 2010 with 3 bonus videoclips ("Slave to the Rhythm," "Love Is the Drug" and "Crush"). "Love You to Life," the third single off her 2008 album Hurricane, was released in  May 2010.


For more about Grace, visit her Website at - 


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