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9 Things You Didn't Know About Grace Jones

9 Things You Didn't Know About Grace Jones

When fearless actress and model Grace Jones appeared on the scene in the late 70s, she took the world by storm with her daring persona and cutting, innovative androgynous style.

From dominating runways, recording hits and making movies, Jones didn't just ignore the stereotypes of women; she shattered them. She pioneered a future where women could live as boldly and fiercely as she continues to do so today.

Earlier this week, it was announced that she will be releasing a new memoir, "I'll Never Write My Memoirs."

From her modest upbringing to her solidified pop culture legacy, here are nine surprising facts about Jones.

1. She is Jamaican 
Jones was born in Jamaica and raised by her grandparents in a very humble, traditional and religious home. She was considered very shy and was often teased by fellow classmates. 

2. Her vocal range is just as expansive as her career
Jones' range spans two-and-a-half octaves. In short, she can master the relatively high notes and sing in a characteristically "masculine" deep voice.

3. She studied theater at Syracuse University
At 17, she left college to pursue a career in modeling in New York and Paris.

4. Her rebellion has no bounds, even at the happiest place on Earth
Jones received a lifetime ban from Walt Disney World in Florida after flashing her breast during a live performance on stage.

5. She lived with actress Jessica Lange and model Jerry Hall in Paris
The three starlets lived in Paris during the late 70s and spent time brushing shoulders with French politicians and aristocrats.

6. She was close friends with Andy Warhol
Jones was a known confidant to Andy Warhol. The two attended the wedding of Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Schwarzenegger and Jones   co-starred in the movie, "The Destroyer."

7. Despite her rock star-like tendencies, Jones admits she’s a ‘softie’
Jones told the Daily Mail, "A friend has a great quote about me which would make a great song: "I'm not a rock star, I'm a soft person." I think it's hilarious.
"I don't party now, and nobody really knows how to party with me any more. So I stay in a lot. I really am a home person. I like to have my own little parties at home."

8. She is considered one of the greatest LGBTQ icons
A frequenter of notable New York nightclubs in the 80s such as Studio 54, Jones quickly gained paramount exposure and a devoted following in the city's gay art scenes, earning her the title, "The Queen of Gay Discos." Jones all collaborated with the late artist and social activist, Keith Haring

9. She doesn't think artists in music today push the envelope enough
One of the excerpts released from Jones forthcoming memoir reveals that Jones' strong reluctance to "revamping" her style as many contemporary superstars, stating, "I cannot be like them — except to the extent that they are already being like me."

Regardless, both Rihanna and Lady Gaga have both stated that they are hugely inspired by Jones — from her iconic style to her memorable performances.

"I'll Never Write My Memoirs" by Grace Jones is published by Simon and Schuster and is available for pre-order on Amazon

NEXT: Music Videos Are Back: How Female Visionaries Made It Happen »

Related Stories:
The Origins of Black Women's Studies
African American Women's Firsts: Part One (Photo Gallery)

Photo Credit: Joseph Okpako via Getty Images