Grace Jones Drags Beyoncé, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and Everyone Else in New Memoir

Grace on Gaga
Grace Jones did not think highly of Gaga in 2010.

Your favorite pop star better run and hide, because the original innovator, Grace Jones, is out for blood.

TimeOut Magazine has an exclusive excerpt from Jones’ forthcoming autobiography, I’ll Never Write My Memoirs, which is set to be published on September 24. In the excerpt, Jones explicitly calls out nearly every major pop star currently making music, essentially claiming that they have all ripped her off.

“Trends come along and people say, ‘Follow that trend’. There’s a lot of that around at the moment: ‘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.”

On the one hand: ouch. On the other hand: were any lies told? Jones continues:

“I have been so copied by those people who have made fortunes that people assume I am that rich. But I did things for the excitement, the dare, the fact that it was new, not for the money, and too many times I was the first, not the beneficiary.”

CREDIT: Simon and Schuster

At one point, she explicitly calls out Rihanna, referring to the silver body paint Bad Gal wore in the “Umbrella” video:

“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.”

The worst of it, however, is reserved for a certain unnamed pop star — Beyoncé? Lady Gaga? — who Jones refers to only as “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 … I could see what she wanted to be when I watched her doing something when she started out that was starker and purer. Deep down, she doesn’t want to do all the dressing-up nonsense; she loses herself inside all the play-acting.”


Though the mind might automatically assume Jones is referring to Gaga, whom Jones has dissed before, a later part lists Gaga and the mysterious “Doris” separately. Who’s not named in the list explicitly? Beyoncé for one…

“What is teaching but passing on your knowledge to those who are at the beginning? Some people are born with that gift. With me, the teaching side morphed into the performing side. It’s in there. And these are my pupils – Gaga, Madonna, Annie Lennox, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Miley, Kanye West, FKA Twigs and… Doris.”

Jones, in fact, has a lot — a lot — to say about “Doris,” who, regardless of her true identity, is shown no mercy throughout Jones’ brutal exploration of the current scene.

“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 … There will always be a replacement coming along very soon -– a newer version, a crazier version, a louder version. So if you haven’t got a long-term plan, then you are merely a passing phase, the latest trend, yesterday’s event.”

Look forward to reading the entire thing when the book is released September 24. It will make for one hell of a book club meeting.