In an excerpt from her new memoir that will appear in next week’s Time Out London, Grace Jones calls out some of the biggest names in the industry—including Rihanna, Madonna, Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj and the ever so mysterious “Doris” (everyone’s guessing who that is)—and accuses them of being bandwagon hoppers who’ve soaked in every ounce of her influence without crediting her.
In an excerpt from the forthcoming autobiography (parts of which can be read over at The Guardian), Jones highlights the “the too many times” when she was “the first, not the beneficiary.”
“Trends come along and people say, ‘Follow that trend’. There’s a lot of that around at the moment,” Jones writes. “‘Be like Sasha Fierce. Be like Miley Cyrus. Be like Rihanna. Be like Lady Gaga. Be like Rita Ora and Sia. Be like Madonna.’ I cannot be like them – except to the extent that they are already being like me.”
The 67-year-old singer-supermodel names the many celebrities she says dared to imitate her image.
“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. 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,” she said, shortly before moving on to “Doris.”
“With this one, who I will call Doris, I thought she was trying on other people’s outfits: she’s a baby in a closet full of other people’s clothes, a little girl playing dress-up, putting on shoes that don’t fit,” Jones continued.
Who is “Doris”?
It seems that in the end, Jones feels that pop culture lacks true autonomy, authenticity and individuality.
“The problem with the Dorises and the Nicki Minajes and Mileys is that they reach their goal very quickly.There is no long-term vision, and they forget that once you get into that whirlpool then you have to fight the system that solidifies around you in order to keep being the outsider you claim you represent… Every singer given a makeover or a few weeks on a talent show seems to be called a diva these days! Christ almighty. Where’s the exclusivity? It’s so commercial now.”
Jones then moves on to Kate Moss, who it seems, has called her a diva one too many times.
“Kate Moss often says to me that I am the only performer around at the moment who deserves to be called a diva. And of course the word is usually used to describe an apparently erratic female whose temperamental qualities, survival instincts, and dedication to perfection are seen as weaknesses, as self-indulgent, not a strength. So, Kate, I am not a diva. I am a Jones!”
Maybe after reading Jones’ fascinating memoir in full, we’ll be a few inches closer to knowing who the mysterious “Doris” actually is.
I’ll Never Write my Memoirs will be published by Simon and Schuster on September 24.