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Pull up to the bumper, baby, drive on in between Little Caesars Arena and the Temple Bar and head on inside the Masonic Temple on Monday, July 1, for what is sure to be a memorable musical experience. Well, musical, yes. But Grace Jones is so much more than a songstress. She is a performance artist, a supermodel, a fashion icon, a muse to the late, great Andy Warhol, a Studio 54 princess and just the type of bold black beauty that commoners look to in awe.
Grace Jones was born in Jamaica but emigrated with her family to the States when she was 13. The family initially settled in Syracuse, New York, but it would be in the Big Apple where Jones would get her modeling start. Soon enough, she was appearing on the covers of Vogue and Elle. She walked the runways, both in NYC and Paris, for designers such as Yves Saint Laurent and Kenzo.
Jones segued into singing in 1975, when she released the single “I Need A Man.” The single would only make it as far as No. 83 on the pop charts, but it became a disco smash going all the way to No. 1 on the dance charts. It also became an anthem for gay men everywhere.
“La Vie en rose,” “Nipple to the Bottle,” “Slave to the Rhythm” and other hits followed. She is perhaps best known for 1981’s “Pull Up to the Bumper.” The song has been re-released twice by Jones herself and covered by artists such as Patra.
Jones made her mark in film with roles in such movies as “Conan the Destroyer,” “A View to a Kill,” “Boomerang” and more.
In 2015, Jones released her autobiography, “I’ll Never Write My Memoirs,” and three years later she was the subject of the documentary “Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami,” directed by Sophie Fiennes.
Known for a sometimes gender-bending style and the hard edges of a sculpted body that sometimes alludes to a masculine silhouette, Jones spoke to W Magazine while promoting the documentary about her thoughts on gender identity.
“I think we’re all oysters to begin with and the whole gender thing is like some people have two genders,” she said. “I believe that you can have your male and female and that if you’re born as a male you can have more female. I believe God made us in all kinds of ways. What comes out, comes out.
“I really feel very male sometimes,” Jones continued. “I act it as well. I do act it, and I’m not sure if has to do with I was actually born with more male in a female body. I embrace both of them. I remember someone I was with said to my mom, ‘I’ve married a man.’ Men expect women to be subservient and do as they say. But I’m a Jamaican woman. Jamaican women are just different.”
Grace Jones first Detroit show in nearly two decades takes place Monday, July 1st, at the Masonic Temple Theatre. Tickets range from $39 to $250 and are available from asx.com.