Posts Tagged ‘grace jones’

Amazing Grace

April 15, 2010

 

There is something unidentifiably confusing about the entity that is Grace Jones. She has a vivacious sex appeal that makes men, both gay and straight question their orientation. She also possesses a terrifying man-eating diva-esque aura that makes Madonna seem like your favourite nana.

True, she’s mostly famous for a few minor hits, but if you ignore the Russell Harty slaps (was that joke too subtle) her musical impact although impressive was mostly underground. Have you ever heard a Jones track on the radio that’s not Pull Up To The Bumper?

 

She dallied in acting as well, seen dominating Roger Moore in A View To Kill and battling alongside Arnie in Conan The Destroyer, but her mantelpiece was unlikely to ever flaunt an Oscar. It seemed likely that, when we hadn’t heard from her in a few years she would submit like so many other have, to the forgotten realm of celerity has-beens. This is not the case however. Grace Jones holds gay icon status today that is equal to that of Judy and Kylie. How has she managed it?

Her sexual liberalism in the seventies spoke to many a gay man; while she partied her way through Studio 54 she embodied an emerging culture of freedom and rebellion. Brought up in a conservative Jamaican family, it was not until she moved to New York to study acting that she became the Grace we know now. Living as a nudist for a time, she dabbled in modelling and theatre, but her true love she claimed was always music.

Grace Jones the popstar was much more than just a singer however. Grace was an entire pop-art package, working with Andy Warhol, the sleeves on her CDs could almost have been sold separately.  It was hard to tell if she was stunningly beautiful, or oddly disproportioned, the only apparent was that she was a magnet for attention and all eyes were on her.   Her apparent vanishing act in the nineties was really only within the media. She maintained that if her fans kept a close eye on her she might materialize at any moment to do an intimate gig; not that there would be any guarantee of her showing up mind…. Jones fans reported that going to a Grace gig was a bit like playing Russian roulette. She may play for hours non-stop some nights, while other nights she may run on stage, sing some obscure song no one had ever heard, then give the audience the finger and depart. 

Her “comeback” album in 2008 was aptly named Hurricane, and while it hardly gave her a hit single, it did give her army of fans new material in which to lap up. 

 

There has been much speculation recently that a baby popstar named Lady Gaga is the heiress to Jones legacy. True they both have a tendency to wear slightly odd gladrags, and Gaga herself has named Jones as her idol, however in reality we know that there can only be one true Grace. She may live a more dormant existence in recent years, but her loyal mob of fans, many of which lie in gay culture, are not yet ready to let her retire. Looking the exact same at 61 as she did at 31, Ms Jones may still have a few slaps yet to give to an unwitting chat show host.  

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