Born on the 19th of May 1948 in Spanish Town Jamaica, Beverly Grace Jones is a famous Jamaican singer, actress and model daughter of Marjorie and Robert Jones, who was a local politician and apostolic clergyman. At 13 years old she moved with her siblings to their parents’ home in Syracuse, New York.
Jones started out as a model, initially in New York State, then in Paris, working for Yves St. Laurent, Claude Montana, and Kenzo Takada, and appearing on the covers of Elle, Vogue, and Stern working with Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, and Hans Feurer. Her grandfather (on her mother’s side) was a musician who travelled with Nat ‘King’ Cole.
Jones studied theatre at Syracuse University before launching a career as a model. While attending college Jones was approached by a drama professor who anticipated that she work with him in a play he was putting on in Philadelphia; Jones accepted. She moved to Paris in 1970. She was 18 when she moved back to New York, and signed on as a model with Wilhelmina Modelling agency.
But, since her looks were not successfully received, she moved to Paris, France, where her androgynous, bold, dark-skinned appearance fostered her potential. While modelling, she found herself acting, playing minor parts in film. Her debut film appearance was in Gordon’s War (1973); she played the role of Mary, a drug smuggler.
Grace started to work prolifically in the 1980s and became a successful American actress with her roles of Zula the Amazonian in Conan the Destroyer (1984), and May Day in the 14th James Bond film A View to a Kill (1985).
In 1981, Grace Jones shocked TV audiences when she slapped the chat show host, Russell Harty across the face when she felt that he was ignoring her. Grace Jones has appeared in a number of mainstream movies, including 1973’s Gordon’s War and 1984’s Conan the Destroyer which also featured Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Then, in 1986, she starred in Vamp, a vampire movie. In 1992, Jones played an eccentric supermodel named Helen Strange in Eddie Murphy’s Boomerang.
Parallel to her musical shift was an equally dramatic visual makeover, created in partnership with stylist Jean-Paul Goude, with whom she had a son. Jones adopted a severe, androgynous look, with square-cut hair and angular, padded clothes. The iconic cover photographs of Nightclubbing and, subsequently, Slave to the Rhythm (1985) exemplified this new identity.
In November 2004, Jones sang her hit “Slave to the Rhythm” at a tribute concert for Trevor Horn at Wembley Arena. She received rave reviews, despite having been absent in the music scene for some time. In February 2006, Jones was the celebrity runway model for Diesel’s show in New York.
In April 2005, Jones was accused of verbally abusing a Eurostar train manager in a quarrel over a ticket upgrade, and she either was escorted off the train or left of her own accord, later saying that she was mistreated.
In November 2006, Jones was criticized for her behaviour at a Delta Airlines party. Witnesses claimed that, at one stage, she removed items of clothing, claiming to be “Queen Bitch Jungle Mother of New York.”