Grace Jones is a free spirit who has influenced multiple generations through her music, style and candor. Over the past 30 years, her name has become interchangeable with the word “risk”, and the world has come to adore her for her rawness — on and off of the stage. Today, we’re honoring Jones by sharing some of her most honest quotes about life. Hopefully, some of her wisdom trickles down to us, so that we too, may be able to direct ourselves through the world with some of the same magic she possesses.

From her humble beginnings in Spanish Town, Jamaica, to her position as a highly sought-after Wilhelmina model, Jones maintained a sense of self that has only grown with time.

Jones’s upbringing included childish bullying for her looks—which are now crucial aspects of her individuality as an artist—and being misunderstood by higher ups in the entertainment realm. Regardless of her struggles, she has become (and remained) a blueprint for Black women who seek to gain control of their own expression.

Grace Jones on the cover of ESSENCE.

Check out some of Grace Jones’s best quotes below.

On Age:

“Oh God, I never use [the words “old age”]. I just call it wisdom. Time is like a space capsule… We are in space, not time. I spend a lot of time in the sea. And I’m a sky stalker, I look at the sky, look out. I would love to go into outer space.” —Grace Jones to The Guardian in 2017

On Self Love:

“One boyfriend told me that I loved myself too much. I thought, Well, you can love a boyfriend too much, but you can’t love yourself too much. Sometimes you have to love yourself to keep yourself whole…” —Grace Jones in her 2015 book, I’ll Never Write My Memoirs

Naomi Campbell, Grace Jones and guest during Grace Jones’ 42nd Birthday Party- May 21, 1990 at Stringfellow’s Nightclub in New York City, NY, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

On Trusting Your Instincts:

“Whatever anyone else says, go with your own instincts. That’s what we say about empowerment: If you give up your power, you have no one to blame but yourself.” —Grace Jones to The Daily Beast in 2017

On Art:

“I see art in everything. But it’s about making it better, creating something, growing out of nothing.” —Grace Jones to the Los Angeles Times in 2018

On Nostalgia:

“What is nostalgia? Wanting something to move forward that is already in the past? It’s never going to happen. It’s about creating your present in the now and in the future and just imagining the past because you are not there.” — Grace Jones to Stuff in 2017

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