Grace Jones

Grace Jones Biography

Grace Jones as May Day

Grace Beverly Jones is a Jamaican-born model, singer, and actress. Jones moved to Syracuse, New York with her family as a teenager, and after graduating from high school, enrolled at Onondaga Community College with a major in Spanish.

She began to rebel against her parents and their religion, exploring her own identity through makeup, alcohol, and visits to gay clubs with her brother. Grace Jones’ drama teacher convinced her to join him on a summer stock tour in Philadelphia, and she decided to stay in the city, living in hippie communes and working as a go-go dancer while immersing herself in the counterculture of the 1960s, using drugs like LSD.

Grace Jones started her modeling career after moving back to New York and then moving on to Paris to work for fashion houses such as Yves St. Laurent and Kenzo, gracing the covers of fashion magazines like Elle and Vogue.


Her striking and androgynous appearance, as well as her bold features, made her famous, and she worked with renowned photographers like Helmut Newton, Jean-Paul Goude, Guy Bourdin, and Hans Feurer.

Grace Jones began her music career in 1977, signing with Island Records and becoming a prominent figure in New York City’s disco scene. She shifted toward a new wave style in the early 1980s, drawing from reggae, funk, post-punk, and pop music, collaborating with graphic designer Jean-Paul Goude and musical duo Sly & Robbie.

Grace Jones charted on the UK Singles Chart with hits like Private Life, Pull Up to the Bumper, I’ve Seen That Face Before, and Slave to the Rhythm, and her albums Warm Leatherette (1980), Nightclubbing (1981), and Slave to the Rhythm (1985) were widely successful. Her music video collection A One Man Show, directed by Goude, received a Grammy nomination for Best Video Album at the 26th Annual Grammy Awards.

Jones is also an accomplished actress, appearing in several indie films before landing mainstream roles in Conan the Destroyer (1984), A View to a Kill (1985) as femme fatale May Day, and also in Vamp (1986), all of which earned her nominations for Best Supporting Actress at the Saturn Awards. She also acted in Eddie Murphy’s Boomerang (1992) and starred alongside Tim Curry in the 2001 film Wolf Girl among other roles.

Grace Jones has left a lasting impact on the worlds of music and fashion. She was ranked 82nd on VH1’s 100 Greatest Women of Rock and Roll in 1999 and received a Q Idol Award in 2008. Jones’ androgynous appearance made her a trailblazer and served as inspiration for the cross-dressing movement of the 1980s.

She has influenced a wide range of artists, including music legends Annie Lennox, Lady Gaga, and Rihanna. In 2016, Billboard recognized her as the 40th greatest dance club artist of all time.

In her personal life, Grace Jones has a son named Paulo, who she shares with her longtime collaborator, Jean-Paul Goude. Paulo has given Jones a granddaughter. SHe has been married once to Atila Altaunbay, whom she married in 1996.

Grace Jones has also been romantically involved with several other high-profile individuals, including Swedish actor Dolph Lundgren, whom she spent four years with and even helped him secure his first part in a film in the Bond film A View to a Kill. In 1990, Jones began dating Danish actor and stuntman Sven-Ole Thorsen and as of 2007, the couple had an open relationship.