Grace Jones wants today’s pop stars to know one thing above all else, they are not edgy, challenging the norm, pushing the envelope, or original.
“You are not off the beaten track, pushing through the thorny undergrowth, finding treasure no one has come across before. You are in the middle of the road. You are really in Vegas wearing the sparkly full-length gown singing to people who are paying to see you but are not really paying attention. If that is what you want, fine, but it’s a road to nowhere.”
An excerpt from her upcoming autobiography I’ll Never Write My Memoirs, finds Jones telling it all on how she really feels about this generation of performers.
In only so many words Jones basically lets them all know if they thought what they did was original and innovative it’s not. Op!
Jones can pretty much guarantee she’s done it already, and definitely done it better. She has no shame in calling out the names of the biggest stars in music right now in particular who she feels are themselves just a trend, including Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj, and Beyoncé in the form of Sasha Fierce. For a few, like Rihanna, she calls out the specific actions.
“Rihanna… she does the body-painting thing I did with Keith Haring, but where he painted directly on my body, she wears a painted bodysuit,” she explains. “That’s the difference. Mine is on skin; she puts a barrier between the paint and her skin. I don’t even know if she knows that what she’s doing comes from me, but I bet you the people styling her know. They know the history.”
There does seem to be one unidentified celebrity who she refers to simply as “Doris”.
“I look at Doris and I think: Does she look happy? She looks lost, like she is desperately trying to find the person she was when she started,” the actress and singer writes. “She looks like really she knows she is in Vegas, now that Vegas is the whole entertainment world filtered through the internet, through impatient social media. I don’t mind her dressing up, but when she started to dance like Madonna, almost immediately, copying someone else, it was like she had forgotten what it was about her that could be unique. Ultimately, it is all about prettiness and comfort, however much they pretend they are being provocative.”
But at the end of the day Jones is clear that she is a teacher and everyone has, and will continue to, learn from her.
“Listen to my advice; I have some experience. In a way, it is me being a teacher, which is what I wanted to be..What is teaching but passing on your knowledge to those who are at the beginning? Some people are born with that gift. With me, the teaching side morphed into the performing side. It’s in there. And these are my pupils – Gaga, Madonna, Annie Lennox, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Miley, Kanye West, FKA Twigs and… Doris.”
But of course everyone is replaceable…
“There will always be a replacement coming along very soon – a newer version, a crazier version, a louder version. So if you haven’t got a long-term plan, then you are merely a passing phase, the latest trend, yesterday’s event.”
Jones’s memoir will be available for purchase on September 24th!