All Articles Tagged "64th birthday"
I remember the first time I saw Grace Jones. It was 1984-ish and I was watching Conan the Destroyer when Zula the lady warrior literally graced the scene twirling around a huge spear. I remember thinking, and quite possibly verbalizing, “Who the heck is this tall Amazonian looking woman with dark piercing eyes and a high top fade?” At the age of seven, I didn’t know what to make of her beyond being shocked and a little scared. But now as an adult, I marvel in her awesomeness.
I can imagine that like most people from my generation – the generation that thought beauty only existed in glammed up Divas – it took some time to appreciate the incredible, stunning and powerful artistry that is Grace Jones. Some probably still don’t. But for most, she is hard to ignore. Standing at 5 feet 10 and half inches, she not only towers over most folks but her lean, sleek and dark physique gives her a certain ferocity – like a black panther.
Jones was Lady Gaga when Gaga was just some ole’ regular chick named Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. She was treacherous snarling and climbing around in cages long before Nikki Minaj was calling women stupid ho*s. Jones had been a style icon for decades prior to Beyonce reaching her Destiny – Child. She was both daring and willing to speak truth before Madonna could figure out what to name her risque coffee table book. She screamed more nonsensical Isht on tracks than Kelis could ever think of. And she was butt-naked on magazines and in videos long before Rihanna reached puberty. Yes, Jones is the original archetype for all of the modern day pop Divas combined. And she still continues to ride in a lane of her own making.
The daughter of an apostolic preacher and seamstress mother, the Jamaican-born Jones, formally known as Grace Mendoza, burst onto the scene around the mid ’70s. In an interview with British late night talk show host Ryan Tubridy, Jones said that she attributed her quirkiness to her religious background. And it was that the desire to burst free from her religious background which led her to abandon her dreams of being a Spanish teacher for theatre and modeling in both New York and in Paris. She got her first record deal in 1977, which resulted in a number of disco hits, mostly popular in the gay and underground club scene. However it would be her 1981 classic, yet risque track “Pull up to the Bumper,” which would propel Jones into the gaze of the mainstream.