Herman Leonard took a great early photo of Grace Jones in Paris in 1969, when she was a young Jamaican model making waves and turning heads in the fashion world. In this imposing image she looks like some sort of erotic empress or dominatrix. This was all before she started making some very cool records for Chris Blackwell’s Island label.
A few years ago she sang Edith Piaf’s classic “La Vie en Rose” at the Hollywood Bowl in a big red dress (of course) but when she turned around at the end of the song the audience saw her backside in the buff.
And now, as she approaches an age where many people are signing up for Medicare, she performs her classic groove song “Slave to the Rhythm” at Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jublilee, singing and whirling a hula hoop. Hoe does she do it? Is there a portrait up in the attic that’s looking worse for wear? Did the years partying hard with Andy Warhol and his gang at Studio 54 not take their toll? All I can say is that Grace Jones, you amaze and inspire the rest of us.