Happy Birthday Miss Jones, Miss Grace Jones

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by Morne Ferreira

Lets face it, Grace Jones wrote the book on FIERCE.  For over three decades unparalleled uniqueness made her the poster child of the outrageous, eccentric & creative . Born in Jamaican on May 19, 1948, her career started as a successful runway model in Paris and New York in the early 70’s before riding the disco wave to musical stardom and transforming into the New Wave songstress that put her on the music map.  She always surrounded herself with the super creatives of the time like Jean-Paul Goude and Keith Harring; Andy Warhol even took her on to be his muse.  These creative collaborations separated her from the pack to stand out as a true individual.  Although she is not a mainstream recording artist, her musical output is hugely popular in clubs and hits on the Dance Charts. Pull up to the Bumper spent 7 weeks at #2 on the Billboard Dance Charts.  Many of her hits are regarded as classics in the music field, praised and loved by a league of loyal fans.
Along side her ten studio albums, Grace appeared in 19 films, most notably as Zola in Conan the Destroyer (1984), a very unconventional Bond Girl in A View to a Kill (1985), fashion Diva Strangé in Boomerang (1992) and the deliciously amazing vampire Kinky Katrina in Vamp  (1986) a 80’s horror/comedy chock full of sexy.

Always the consummate Diva, Grace racked up some much talked about controversies over the years, she slapped talk show host Russell Harty live on air in 1981 for not paying enough attention to her, attacked a Eurostar employee in 2005 in an upgrade dispute and recently started up a feud with Lady Gaga for copying some of her looks.

Grace took a break from music recording in the 90’s but randomly popped up at festivals, events and secret shows.   2008 saw her triumphant return with the highly acclaimed Hurricane followed by a sell out world tour.

I was fortunate enough to experience Grace live at the London Fridge in 1996 and again in New York in 2009 where at 61 she brought the house down with the same exuberance and energy as she did when I saw her 13 years before.

Happy Birthday Grace, please don’t ever go away!

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La Vie en Rose

Slave to the Rhythm

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTm9gDwwMZk&feature=related [/youtube]

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