Name:
Grace Jones
Birth Date:
May 19, 1948
Birth Place:
Spanish Town, Jamaica
Height:
5' 9''
Nationality:
Jamaican
Famous for:
Former Bon girl in 'A View to a Kill' (1985)
Profession:
actress, musician, model
Education:
Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY
BIOGRAPHY
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Bond Girl May Day

Background:

“Everyone has to make their own decisions. I still believe in that. You just have to be able to accept the consequences without complaining.” Grace Jones

Grace Jones is a Jamaican American singer, actress and model. Signed with Island Records in 1977, she recorded seven studio albums with the label, including her commercial breakthrough, “Nightclubbing” (1981), which spawned the hit single “Pull Up to the Bumper,” a Top 5 single on the U.S. R&B chart and a No 2 hit on the U.S. Hot Dance Club Play chart. Her first compilation album, “Island Life” (1985), comprising songs from her Island Records albums “Portfolio” (1977), “Fame” (1978), “Warm Leatherette” (1980), “Nightclubbing” (1981), “Living My Life” (1982) and “Slave to the Rhythm” (1985), except “Muse” (1979), was a huge success ion the UK and also became her best selling album in the US. After parting ways with Island, she recorded with the Manhattan Records for 1986's “Inside Story” and then Capitol Records for 1989's “Bulletproof Heart.” Her new studio album, “Hurricane” (2008), was released on the London based indie label Wall of Sound. In addition to “Pull Up to the Bumper,” Jones also has scored other hit singles with “I've Seen That Face Before (Libertango), “Private Life,” “Slave to the Rhythm” and “I'm Not Perfect (But I'm Perfect for You),” to name a few. As an actress, Jones is perhaps best known for playing the murderous May Day in the James Bond adventure “A View to a Kill” (1985), for which she was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Saturn Awards. Other film credits include “Conan the Destroyer” (1984), “Vamp” (1986), “Boomerang” (1992), “Cyber Bandits” (1995), “Palmer's Pick Up” (1999) and “Shaka Zulu: The Citadel” (2201, TV). Prior to becoming a singer, Jones was a successful model in France. She recalled, “As a model one is forced to spend a lot of time in front of the mirror and I just started to freak out, like I was going on the other side of the mirror. So I moved every mirror out of my house when I stopped modeling.”

Grace, who was once named VH1's “100 Greatest Women of Rock 'n Roll,” was extremely popular in underground and nightlife scenes in New York City thanks to her androgynous and statuesque style, and her sexually redolent stage shows and songs such as “I Need A Man” gained her the nickname “The Queen of Gay Discos” due to her large following of gay men.

During the 1970s and 1980s, Jones was romantically involved with French graphic designer Jean-Paul Goude, but the romance ended after producing one son, Apollo. She went on to romance her former bodyguard, Dolph Lundgren, and lived with the Swedish actor for four years. After they canceled their engagement, Grace married his first husband, Chris Stanley, in 1989, but their marriage ended in 1991. Her second marriage to Atila Altaunbay lasted from 1996 to 2004. Grace was a close friend and confidant of Andy Warhol's and became a part of his entourage. Warhol made a portrait of her.


Daughter of Reverend

Childhood and Family:

Grace Jones was born Grace Mendoza on May 19, 1948, in Spanish Town, Jamaica. Her father, Robert W. Jones, was a politician and Apostolic clergyman. Her mother's name is Marjorie. Her family later relocated to Syracuse New York. She has two brothers, Chris and Noel Jones, a bishop who became the subject of Sophie Fiennes' documentary, “Hoover Street Revival” (2002). Grace is an alum of Onondaga Community College. She also studied theatre at the Syracuse University.

Grace has been married twice. She married first husband Chris Stanley from 1989 to 1991 and second husband Atila Altaunbay from February 24, 1996 until 2004. She has a son named Apollo, from a relationship with French graphic designer Jean-Paul Goude in the 1970s.


Pull Up to the Bumper

Career:

In her early twenties, Grace Jones was signed to the Whilamina Modeling Agency in New York. However, due to her looks that were too strong for American magazines, she flew to Paris and enjoyed a successful modeling career there. Jones made her acting debut in 1973 when she landed a supporting role as Mary in the American adventure/crime movie “Gordon's War,” opposite Paul Winfield, Carl Lee and David Downing. Three years later, she appeared in the French movie “Attention les yeux!”, starring Claude Brasseur, Robert Castel and Nathalie Courval.

Thanks to her tall and flamboyant look, Jones emerged as a hit in the NYC nightclub scene, which led to a recording contract with Island Records in 1977. Her debut album, “Portfolio,” was released in January 1977 and produced by the legendary disco record producer Tom Moulton. The disco/pop album reached No. 109 in the US Billboard 200 and made it to the Top 40 in European countries like the Netherlands (#8), Italy (#9) and Sweden (#22). “I Need a Man” (1977), the debut single of Jones which was originally recorded and released in France in 1975 for the label Orfeus while Jones was still working as a fashion model, reached No. 1 on the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play and No. 83 on the Billboard Hot 100. The double A-side “That's the Trouble”/”Sorry” peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play and No. 77 on the Billboard Hot 100. The third single, “La Vie en rose,” Jone's her first single release on Island Records after having signed with the label, went gold in Europe and sold very well. It also climbed the top of charts in European countries such as Denmark, Holland and Germany. In the US, the song reached No. 109 on the Billboard Hot 100 and made the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play.

The second studio album “Fame” followed in July 1978, with Tom Moulton again as a producer. It charted at No. 15 in Italy, No. 22 in Sweden and No. 97 in the US Billboard 200. The album was a hit in the American dance scene and soared up to No. 10 on the dance charts. The “Do or Die”/”Pride”/“Fame” side peaked at No. 3 on the U.S. Billboard dance club play chart. “Muse,” her third album and also the last of her disco trilogy with Tom Moulton, was released in 1979. It peaked at No. 38 in Sweden and No. 156 in the Billboard 200. Meanwhile, Jones returned to acting in 1978 when she starred along side French model and singer Amanda Lear in the controversial Italian series “Stryx,” which aired for six episodes on Rai Due.

In August 1980, Jones released the acclaimed album “ Warm Leatherette,” with Chris Blackwell and Alex Sadkin as producers. It contained covers of songs by the Normal, the Pretenders, Roxy Music, Smokey Robinson, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and Jacques Higelin. The album peaked at No. 132 in the US Billboard 200 and No. 45 on the UK Albums chart. A cover of the Pretenders' “Private Life” reached No. 17 on the UK Singles chart, making it her first ever chart entry in the country. The song marked a new era in Jones' career when she left her disco persona behind her and started exploring genres like reggae, rock and new wave, combined with an completely different image.

Released on May 11, 1981, the fifth studio album “Nightclubbing” marked her commercial breakthrough. It reached No. 9 on the Billboard R&B Albums chart and No. 32 on the Billboard Pop Albums as well as No. 35 on the UK Albums Chart. It also made the Top 10 in Sweden (#4), the Netherlands (#2), New Zealand (#3) and Germany (#8), where it went gold, and achieved platinum certification in Australia. The album rose to the No. 1 slot on NME Album of the Year. The lead off single “Demolition Man” (released in march 1981) was written by Sting for Jones. The second single “Pull Up to the Bumper” was a hit. It reached No. 2 on the Billboard Club Play Singles, No. 5 on the Billboard R&B Singles chart and No. 53 on the UK Singles Chart. The third single “I've Seen That Face Before (Libertango)” hit the Top 10 in Australia, the Netherlands and France . The album produced three more singles with “Use Me,” “Feel Up” and “Walking in the Rain,” which was originally recorded by Australian New Wave band Flash and the Pan and included on their eponymous 1979 debut album.

During 1981-1982, Jones toured the UK, Continental Europe, Scandinavia and the US with her “One Man Show,” a performance art/pop theatre presentation created by Jean-Paul Goude and Jones herself, where she performed tracks from the albums “Portfolio,” “Warm Leatherette” and “Nightclubbing” dressed in elaborate costumes and masks, in the opening sequence as a gorilla, and alongside a series of Grace Jones lookalikes. A video version of “One Man Show,” which was directed by Goude and edited by Peter Shelton , was first released in 1982 to promote Jones' album, “Living My Life,” and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Long-Form Music Video in 1983.

The sixth studio album “Living My Life” was launched on November 7, 1982. It charted at No. 15 on the UK Album Chart, No. 19 on the Billboard R&B Album Chart and No. 86 on the Billboard 200. The lead single “My Jamaican Guy,” which Jones wrote, reached No. 56 in the UK, while the second single “Nipple to the Bottle,” which she co-wrote with Sly Dunbar, charted at No. 17 on the US Billboard R&B Singles, No. 2 on the US Billboard Club Play and No. 7 in Netherlands. The single “Cry Now, Laugh Later,” which she wrote with Barry Reynolds, reached No. 64 on the US Billboard R&B Singles and No. 33 on the US Billboard Club Play.

In 1984, Jones made her debut in mainstream film when she landed the role of Zula, the Amazon, in “Conan the Destroyer,” which was directed by action/fantasy veteran Richard Fleischer and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as the titular role. The film was a moderate success at the US box office and a big success at the international markets. For her fine acting, Jones was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1985. Jones followed it up with the coveted role of May Day, the girlfriend of main antagonist Zorin, on the James Bond film “A View to a Kill” (1985), starring Roger Moore as agent 007. Despite a mixed reception from critics, the film was a commercial success. Jones received a 1986 Saturn nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the film. In 1986, Jones was cast as Katrina in the comedy/horror film “Vamp,” directed by Richard Wenk, and picked up her next Saturn nomination for Best Supporting Actress. The next year, she appeared in two films, “Straight to Hell,” as Sonya, and “Siesta,” where she was nominated for a Razzie for Worst Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Conchita. She did not appear in another film for the next five years.

Jones released her seventh studio album “Slave to the Rhythm” on November 30, 1985, with Trevor Horn as producer. It peaked at No. 12 on the UK Albums chart and No. 73 on the Billboard 200. It sold about 150.000 copies in USA and one  million units worldwide. The title track “Slave to the Rhythm” reached No. 12 in the UK. The same year, Jones also released a compilation album called “Island Life,” featuring songs from her Island Records albums “Portfolio,” “Fame,” “Warm Leatherette,” “Nightclubbing,” “Living My Life” and “Slave to the Rhythm.” The album received a big success in the UK, where it rose to No. 4 on the UK Albums chart, and went gold. The re-released of “Pull Up to the Bumper” and “Love Is the Drug” reached No. 12 and No. 35 on the UK Singles Chart, respectively. The eighth studio album “Inside Story” was released on November 14, 1986 under Manhattan Records label. The album, which she produced with Nile Rodgers, charted at No. 81 on the Billboard 200 and No. 61 on the UK Albums Chart, and went silver in the UK. It produced the singles “I'm Not Perfect (But I'm Perfect for You),” which reached No. 69 and No. 56 in the US and UK, respectively, “Victor Should Have Been a Jazz Musician,” “Crush” and “Party Girl,” a No. 82 hit in the UK. The ninth studio album “Bulletproof Heart” was released on July 1, 1989 on the Capitol Records. It charted at No. 55 in Germany and became last studio album for 19 years. The album spawned the singles “Love on Top of Love” (1989) and “Amado Mio” (1990), a No. 96 hit in the UK.

Jones resumed her film career in 1992 with “Boomerang,” a comedy film directed byReginald Hudlin and starring Eddie Murphy. The film was a commercial success, although it received mixed reviews from critics. There she played Strangé, the wild fashion diva who has been chosen as the new face of Lady Eloise Cosmetics. She also recorded the song “7 Day Weekend” for the movie soundtrack, which went on to become a top selling album. She released two more singles in 1993 with “Evilmainya,” recorded for the film “Freddie as F.R.O.7,” and “Sexdrive,” for “Island Life 2,” a re-issue of the 1985 compilation of Grace Jones songs, “Island Life.” 1994 saw the release of the single “Slave to the Rhythm.” It was was followed by “Love Bites” in 1996 and “Hurricane (Cradle to the Grave)” in 1997.

Jones played the supporting role of Masako Yokohama in the adventure film “Cyber Bandits” (1995), starring Martin Kemp, Alexandra Paul and Adam Ant. She portrayed Alanso Richter in the action/comedy film “McCinsey's Island” (1998), starring Tom Akos, Willy the Bird and Leigh Bryant, and Ms. Remo in the comedy film “Palmer's Pick Up” (1999), starring Robert Carradine, Richard Hillman and Patrick Kilpatrick. Also in 1999, she appeared as Nokinja in an episode of “BeastMaster” called “The Umpatra.”

In 2000, Jones released a single titled “Pull Up to the Bumper” (with Funkstar De Luxe”), which hit No. 60 on the UK Singles Chart. The next year, she was cast as The Queen in the made for television film “Shaka Zulu: The Citadel,” opposite David Hasselhoff, Karen Allen and Henry Cele, and played Christoph/Christine in the TV film “ Wolf Girl,” starring Shelby Fenner, Shawn Ashmore and Tony Denman.

On November 3, 2008, Jones released the tenth studio album “Hurricane” on Wall of Sound in the UK. It marked her first album of new material since 1989. The album reached No. 42 in the UK Albums chart. It produced the singles “Corporate Cannibal” (2008), “Williams' Blood” (2008) and “Love You to Life” (2010). In support of the album, Jones embarked on The Hurricane Tour in 2009.

Still in 2008, Jones appeared in the German film “Falco - Verdammt, wir leben noch!” by director/writer Thomas Roth.


Awards:
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