Grace Jones (born 19 May 1948) is a Jamaican singer, songwriter, lyricist, supermodel, record producer, and actress. She was born in Spanish Town, Jamaica and raised by her grandparents. At 13 she moved with her siblings to their parents' home in Syracuse, New York. Jones started out as a model, initially in New York state, then in Paris, working for Yves St. Laurent, Claude Montana, and Kenzo Takada, and appearing on the covers of Elle, Vogue, and Stern working with Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, and Hans Feurer.
In 1977 Jones secured a record deal with Island Records; she moved into dance, new wave, and reggae music, often collaborating with the Compass Point All Stars. She scored Top 40 entries on the UK Singles Chart with "Pull Up to the Bumper", "I've Seen That Face Before", "Private Life", "Slave to the Rhythm" and "I'm Not Perfect". Her most popular albums include Warm Leatherette (1980), Nightclubbing (1981), and Slave to the Rhythm (1985).
Jones' distinctive androgynous appearance, square-cut, angular padded clothing, manner, and height 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 Annie Lennox, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Lorde, Brazilian Girls, Grimes, Róisín Murphy, Nile Rodgers, Santigold, and Basement Jaxx. Jones was listed as one of the fifty best-dressed over 50 by the Guardian in March 2013.
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".
While her early music was rooted in the disco genre, she opted for a new wave sound in 1980s. She recorded a series of albums (1980's Warm Leatherette through 1982's Living My Life) backed by the Jamaica rhythm section duo Sly and Robbie. Her music during this era was described as a hybrid of "electronica, funk, jazz, R&B and reggae," and more generally as "new wave." This hybrid influenced a variety of alternative music artists, including Massive Attack, Todd Terje, Gorillaz, Hot Chip, and LCD Soundsystem.
Jamaican singer and model Grace Jones photographed by Luciano Viti in the dressing room of Rai's TV Studio in Rome in 1982.
Grace Jones photographed by Jill Furmanovsky at the Hilton Hotel, London in 1980 for the Face Magazine.
Grace Jones on her 'A One Man Show' tour performs live at The Carre Theatre in Amsterdam, Netherlands on September 23, 1981.