Grace Beverly Jones is a Jamaican-American model, singer/songwriter, producer, and actress best known for her androgynous appearance and bold, recognizable features that compliment her infectious confidence.
After moving to the States at a young age, Jones began her modeling career at 18 in New York before eventually moving to Paris, where she worked for Yves St. Laurent and appeared on the covers of high-end publications such as Elle and Vogue. Jones is synonymous with over-the-top outfits and carefully chosen accessories such as cloaks, hoods, lace face masks, and anything geometric to compliment her stunning features.
In the late ’70s, Jones transitioned to music, releasing her first album in 1977 that included “Sorry,” “That’s The Trouble,” and her first mega-hit — “I Need A Man.” She continued to release albums. However, none were as successful as 1981’s Nightclubbing, which included a mix of cover songs and those co-written by Jones herself. The album was popular worldwide — hitting the top 5 in four countries — and is widely considered to be her best album.
After her stint in the music industry, Jones changed directions again in 1984 with her role as Zula the Amazonian in Conan the Destroyer, earning her a nomination for the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress. Her film and music projects continued sporadically throughout the ’80s, ’90s, and 2000s, though she jumped back into the studio in 2008 to release a brand new, 23-track autobiographical album.
In 2010, Jones performed for the 18th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Award viewing party, helping raise over $3.7 million to support HIV prevention and help eliminate the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Many have questioned Grace’s sexuality over the years, particularly due to her often-masculine appearance and dress. Still, Grace has an answer for all the critics, stating that she refuses to give herself a label. Jones says she does what she wants, when she feels like it, and feels that labels are limiting because “anything is possible.”
Grace Jones has had a lasting impact on many industries — fashion, film, music, and arts, just to name a few, but her legacy also lies in her influence on the topics of gender, sexuality, and personal identity.