Grace Jones booking
Jones was born in Kingston, Jamaica, the daughter of Marjorie and Robert W. Jones, who was a
politician and Apostolic clergyman. Her parents took Grace and her brother Randy to relocate to
Syracuse, New York in 1965. Before becoming a successful model in New York City and Paris, Jones
studied theater at Onondaga Community College.
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. These albums consisted of pop
melodies set to a disco beat (such as “All on a Summer’s Night” and “Do or Die,”) and standards (such
as “What I Did for Love,” “Autumn Leaves,” and “Send in the Clowns”). 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.
Toward 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 Chris Blackwell, Alex Sadkin and the
Compass Point All Stars, 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, and Tom Petty. Parallel to her musical shift was an
equally dramatic visual makeover, created in partnership with stylist Jean-Paul Goude, with 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 Blackwell, Sadkin and the Compass Point All Stars
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. Bulletproof Heart (1989) spawned the #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 Clivilles. Although she has yet
to become a truly mainstream recording artist in the United States (with the exception of her featured
work on the Arcadia hit single “Election Day”), much of her musical output is still popular on the
Billboard’s Hot Dance 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 officially released 49 commercial
and/or promotional singles (not including re-releases), including several non-album tracks.
Grace Jones is a contralto vocalist. Although her image became more notable than her voice, she is in
fact a highly stylized vocalist. She sings in two modes?in her monotone speak-sing as in songs such
as “Private Life,” “Walking in the Rain,” and “The Apple Stretching”; and in an almost-soprano mode in
songs such as “La Vie en Rose” and “Slave to the Rhythm.” Her vocal range spans two-and-a-half
octaves. She contributed significant vocals to Arcadia’s 1985 hit single, “Election Day,” from the album
So Red the Rose, as well as to their subsequent single “The Flame.”
Grace Jones’s masculine appearance, height (5’10?” or 1.79 m), and manner influenced the crossdressing movement of the 1980s. She would also exemplify the “Flat Top,” a hairstyle popular amongbut not exclusive to-men in the late-1980s, which she displayed on the cover of her first non-disco
album, 1980′s Warm Leatherette.
She maintained parallel recording and acting careers, and modeling work often overshadowed her
musical output. Her strong visual presence extended to her concert tours. 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, for which she collaborated with visual
artist Keith Haring for her costume. Haring painted her body in tribal patterns and fitted her with wire
armor. The muralist also painted her body for the video to “I’m Not Perfect (But I’m Perfect for You).”
Jones recorded two albums during the 1990s, but they remain unreleased thus far?in 1994, she was
due to release an electro album titled Black Marilyn with artwork featuring the singer as Marilyn
Monroe; in 1998, she was scheduled to release an album entitled Force of Nature. A white label 12″
single featuring two dance mixes of “Hurricane (Cradle to the Grave)” was released; a slowed-down
remix of this song became the title track of her album released in 2008. Also in 1998, she sang the title
track for the film remake of the cult TV series The Avengers. The song “Storm” was written and
produced by Bruce Woolley, Chris Elliott, and Marius DeVries and was performed with The Radio
Science Orchestra. In 2000, Jones cut “The Perfect Crime,” an up-tempo song for Danish TV written
by the composer duo Floppy M. On May 28, 2002, Jones performed onstage with Italian opera tenor
Luciano Pavarotti during Pavarotti’s annual “Pavarotti and Friends” concert to support the United
Nations refugee agency’s programs for Angolan refugees in Zambia. The concert was held in Modena,
Italy, and Jones and Pavarotti were accompanied by the 70-strong Orchestra Sinfonica Italiana,
conducted by Jose Molina.
In November 2004, Jones sang her hit “Slave to the Rhythm” at a tribute concert for Trevor Horn at
Wembley Arena. She received rave reviews, despite having been absent in the music scene for some
time. In February 2006, Jones was the celebrity runway model for Diesel’s show in New York. On
October 20, 2006, the 3-CD compilation The Ultimate Collection was released in Europe by the CCM
label. 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.
Producer Ivor Guest confirmed that Jones had completed recording of her new album in 2007. Jones
revealed in an interview regarding her collaboration with Guest, “…we had a creative chemistry and
the music flowed. We remain great friends and have created 23 tracks, of which the rest will form the
next album.” Nick Hooker has directed the first video from the upcoming album. Other participants on
the new album include the original Compass Point All Stars lineup, i.e. Sly and Robbie, Barry
Reynolds, Mikey Chung, Sticky Thompson and Wally Badarou, joined by Brian Eno, Bruce Woolley,
Tricky, and Tony Allen. In April 2007, Version2 listed “Corporate Cannibal” as the new video directed
by Nick Hooker for Grace Jones. On June 22, 2007, Jones performed in Copenhagen at Tivoli
Gardens theme park. Tivoli’s Web site mentioned the title of her new album as Corporate Cannibal,
without confirming a release date. Jones was part of the lineup for Massive Attack’s Meltdown at the
Southbank Centre in London, taking place from June 14?22, 2008. Jones received positive reviews
across many UK newspapers for her comeback show as part of the Meltdown festival on June 19, and
she previewed many new songs from her first album of new material in almost 20 years. She also
performed at the relaunch of Elandra Resort in Mission Beach in Cairns, Queensland on June 28,
2008, her first performance in Australia in many years.. Jones headlined the Belgian Lokerse Feesten
on August 8, 2008, with a full 2-hour show similar to the one at Meltdown.
Her new album was scheduled for release on October 27, 2008, on Wall of Sound/PIAS Records and
is called Hurricane, with Jones touring the UK and headlining the Secret Garden Party from July 24?
27, 2008, to promote the album’s release. She also made a guest appearance and performance in
2008 at the Bestival (Isle of Wight) as well as Electric Picnic (Ireland). She played the Sydney Festival
in January 2009, headlining the Festival First Night free concert in Hyde Park with an audience of over
80,000 people. Jones may release the “lost” album “Black Marilyn” independently in 2009, along with
a compilation of tracks recorded between “Bulletproof Heart” and “Hurricane”.
New remastered editions of “Portfolio”, “Muse”, and “Fame” are set to be released in 2009. This will
mark the first time “Muse” has been commercially available on CD. Also on the way is a 2 CD Deluxe
Edition of “Nightclubbing” from Island Records to coincide with the record labels 50th Anniversary.
Jones recently performed on Friday Night With Jonathan Ross and performed “Love You to Life”. On 9
August 2009 Jones performed a full set at ‘Space’ – a nightclub on Ibiza island, Spain. Grace Jones
collaborated with the avant-garde poet Brigitte Fontaine in a duet named ” Soufi ” from Fontaine’s
latest work programmed for a release in the fall of 2009.
In the 1973 film Gordon’s War, Jones played the role of Mary, a Harlem drug courier. Jones’s work as
an actress in mainstream film began with the role of Zula, the Amazon, in the 1984 film Conan the
Destroyer alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger and NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain. She next landed the
role of May Day in the 1985 James Bond movie A View to a Kill. She also appeared in a short music
video “Hey Baby” from the band Hansel to Home in 1986.
Jones appeared in a number of other motion pictures including the 1986 vampire film Vamp (in which
she used her Keith Haring body paint as part of her role as a vampiric exotic dancer) and the 1992
Eddie Murphy film Boomerang (in which she played eccentric supermodel Helen Strang?), for which
she recorded the song “7 Day Weekend.” In 2001, she appeared alongside Tim Curry in Wolf Girl
(also known as 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.
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