Belfast Telegraph

Grace Jones is put in charge of Meltdown festival: It’s about time darling

The singer is known for her androgynous image and distinctive outfits.

Grace Jones (Ian West/PA)
Grace Jones (Ian West/PA)

By Sherna Noah, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Grace Jones has accepted an invite to curate next year’s Meltdown festival, saying “it’s about time”.

The singer, 71, known for her androgynous look and distinctive wardrobe, will oversee and headline the Southbank Centre event.

Jones, who has previously performed at Meltdown,  said she was “honoured” to turn her hand to curating.

She added: “Year after year, the festival continues to spread its colourful wings, allowing its curators to bring together an array of diverse talent not seen anywhere else.

“It’s about time I was asked to curate Meltdown darling, don’t you think?!”

Jones was one of the first black supermodels before signing to Island Records.

She became a star of New York City’s Studio 54-centred disco scene and in the 1980s moved to a new-wave hybrid of reggae, funk, pop and rock.

Albums include Warm Leatherette, Nightclubbing, and Slave To The Rhythm.

She is also known for starring as a villain in Bond film A View To A Kill and for slapping presenter Russell Harty live on air in 1981 when she thought that he was ignoring her.

In 2015, Jones declared that current female singers like Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus have no taboos to break because she had smashed them all.

She accused chart topping stars of today of copying her, writing in her autobiography: “They dress up as though they are challenging the status quo but by now, wearing those clothes, pulling those faces, revealing those tattoos and breasts – that is the status quo.”

And Jones also warned of life in the music industry: “If you haven’t got a long-term plan then you are just a passing phase, the latest trend, yesterday’s event.”

Previous curators of the music and arts festival have included The Cure’s Robert Smith,  David Bowie, Yoko Ono, rapper MIA and Jones’s former collaborator Nile Rodgers.

Bengi Ünsal, head of contemporary music at Southbank Centre, said: “There’s no denying it, Grace Jones is unlike anybody else…

“She is one of the few living artists who can truly be described as iconic, with a relentlessly individualistic vision.”

Grace Jones’s Meltdown runs from June 12-21 next year at the Southbank Centre, London, with line-up details to be announced. 

PA

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