Grace Jones: Miley, Rihanna, and Nicki Do Not Challenge the Status Quo

Illustration for article titled Grace Jones: Miley, Rihanna, and Nicki Do Not Challenge the Status Quo

In a recently published excerpt of Grace Jones’ upcoming memoir (cheekily titled I’ll Never Write My Memoirs), the legendary musician shares her criticisms of today’s current pop stars, asserting that many of them attempt to claim originality and subversiveness, while really only copying her style and playing it safe.


“Trends come along and people say, ‘Follow that trend,’” she writes. “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.”

The excerpt, published on TimeOut, continues:

“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, singing to those fractured, spastic, melting beats – that is the status quo.

“You are not off the beaten track, pushing through the thorny undergrowth, finding treasure no one has come across before.”

“You are in the middle of the road. You are really in Vegas wearing the sparkly full-length gown singing to people who are paying to see you but are not really paying attention. If that is what you want, fine, but it’s a road to nowhere.”


She also has no patience for the current working definition of the word “diva.”

“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,” she wrote. “… I am not a diva. I am a Jones!”

Yes, she certainly is. And for that, we thank our lucky stars.

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Image via Getty.

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I agree with her. Miley is an obvious one, but Rihanna has, to me, never actually seemed that special. She feels like the culmination of a lot of hard work by producers, stylists, designers, managers, and agents to produce someone who seems fresh when in fact she is just rehashing other people in a very fine way.

And Beyoncé: I mean she was cool in 2003. I feel like people, white girls in particular, have tried really hard to keep her alive. I mean her music is fine but I just don't freak out about it.