Model, singer, actress, androgyne, crazy person, disco diva, 54er, alien and all-around “EVERYTHING” Grace Jones is coming out with a memoir! As one of the most unique faces and voices of the 20th century, the 65-year-old has been, done and fucked it all. Her uncompromising androgyny made her an LGBTQ icon and inspired the likes of Annie Lennox, Rihanna and Lady Gaga — who never met a cowl she didn’t like.
The memoir is due out next fall through Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuester. In a statement released by Gallery, Jones noted her 1981 song, “Art Groupie” began with the lyrics “I’ll never write a memoir” but she changed her mind because if she didn’t, someone else would. So in the spirit of one-upsmanship — and in giggly girlish anticipation of the real deal — we came up with our own personal account of Grace Jones’s extraordinary, discocaine-fueled, art star life. Pull up to the bumper, kids, we’re gonna get weird.
Here are 10 reasons Grace Jones’s memoir will be the gay event of the year!
1. From humble beginnings…
Beverly Grace Jones was born in Spanish Town, Jamaica in 1948, where, raised by strict, highly religious grandparents, she and her siblings went to church three times a week. The kids eventually joined their parents in Syracuse, New York and Grace enrolled in Syracuse University. Subsequently, this is the most relaxed her hair or face has ever looked.
2. To bright lights, big city!
Halfway through college, that legendary rebellious streak reared its gorgeous head and Grace ran off with her professor to Philly, only to move back to New York at 18 and start modeling. She moved to Paris in 1970, where she shared a room with a few gals she had met — Jerry Hall and Jessica Lange. The trio of Amazons were taken under the wing of gay fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez, and became the toasts of the town. Grace started musing and modeling for Yves Saint Laurent, Kenzo Takada, Helmut Newton and Guy Bourdin, while kicking up her heels with Karl Lagerfeld and Giorgio Armani at the French disco, Club Sept. A disenchanted Lange checked out of Paris after only a year and no one’s heard from her since.
At the height of the disco craze, Grace put out three albums, starting with 1977’s Portfolio, produced by Tom “Father of the Disco Mix (and therefore, my father)” Moulton, which included this 12″ mix of Edith Piaf’s “La Vie en Rose.” When it comes to disco, and certain men, you really shouldn’t accept anything less than 12″.
4. Studio 54
Back in New York, Grace became a fixture at Studio 54, bumping lines and hips with Divine, Andy Warhol, gal pal André Leon Talley, and a ton of naked (probably gay) dudes, all while giving world-class side-eye in a cateye.
“Oh, Bianca Jagger just rode in on a white horse? I did that five years ago on a Bengal tiger, now where’s my damn cocktail?”
5. Sex and androgyny
When disco began to wane — nothing perfect lasts forever — Grace turned her attention to the New Wave and came out with Warm Leatherette in 1980 then her magnum opus, Nightclubbing a year later, featuring the classic club track, “Pull Up to the Bumper.” The song’s thinly-veiled reference to butt sex has endeared itself to generations of gay men, even though Grace claims it’s really just about parallel parking, or something. Jones’ androgynous look also reached its most iconic level with the cover of Nighclubbing, serving obsidian opulence:
In 1984, Grace made her debut as a mainstream actress next to a scantily-clad, musclebound Arnold Schwarzenegger in Conan the Destroyer– a childhood favorite, for very personal reasons. She took her role very seriously, so seriously in fact she put two stuntmen in the hospital. And that was just when they told her she couldn’t have her own makeup person on set.
Continuing her love of giant, incredibly muscular white men, Grace Jones decided to form a master race with her then-bodyguard Dolph Lundgren — another childhood favorite, for very private reasons. The two did the world a favor and posed for Playboy together and she got him a small role in 1985’s A View to a Kill, which led to the beginning of his career and the subsequent end of Carl Weathers’s career.
8. It’s all about the art
Grace continued recording, releasing the concept album Slave to the Rhythm and the compilation album Island Life, both in 1985. The latter’s cover, a collaboration with French artist and then-beau Jean-Paul Goude, has become one of the most iconic works of art in popular culture and a source of inspiration for big-bootied beauties:
Jones also frequently collaborated with the late, great gay artist Keith Haring, who painted his muse’s epic body for her “I’m Not Perfect (But I’m Perfect for You)” video and the 1985 vampire flick, Vamp. Rihanna would later blatantly rip off the Jones-Haring look for her “Rude Boy” video, but we could dedicate an entire post to artists who’ve blatantly ripped off Grace Jones. Looking at you, Stephanie Germanotta.
10. It’ll answer an eternal question
1992 saw something of a comeback for Grace when she stretched her acting muscles to portray a wackadoo model in the Eddie Murphy comedy, Boomerang. Over the following 20 years, she’s popped up here and there, in music, in random TV shows and movies, assaulting someone somewhere and generally Gracing us with her presence. A true original, Grace Jones is also one of the greatest LGBTQ icons of all time. Not only did she hobnob with some of the great queers of her gay day, she also lived a life that is the envy of any gay man. Honestly, disco, Dolph and Divine — you’ve got all the D’s for a homotastic existence. Well, maybe not all of them: