Image Credit: Paul Bergen/Redferns/Getty Images; Scott Gries/Getty ImagesLady Gaga may adore cult pop icon Grace Jones, but Ms. Jones won’t picking up her t-t-telephone calls any time soon.
The 61-year-old Jamaican-born model/actress/fashion radical, best known as a club performer, Warhol muse, Bond girl, hair maverick, and all-around fabu freakshow, was recently asked by London’s Guardian newspaper what she thought of the world’s current preeminent mistress of carcinogenic eyewear. Jones’ reply? “I really don’t think of her at all. I go about my business … I wouldn’t go to see her.”
And would they ever work together? “She did [ask], but I said no. I’d just prefer to work with someone who is more original and someone who is not copying me, actually.”
Mild-ish words, actually, from the woman who gave the world Strangé—and one wonders why she doesn’t call out her other obvious acolyte, Rihanna—but she can hardly be blamed for drawing the comparison.
And Gaga’s genealogy has never been much of a mystery: She is unabashedly built from the DNA of many stars who came before her—including but not limited to Madonna, David Bowie, Roisin Murphy, Prince, Cher, Labelle, Freddie Mercury and of course the original cult-of-personality maestro himself, Mr. Warhol.
Like the recent M.I.A.-chugs-the-Lady-haterade episode, this one will surely be met by Gaga loyalists‘ insistence that the Lady is, like, ten billion times more amazeballs than Jones, who is just too jealous/old/All About Eve-ish to acknowledge her younger and more commercially successful rival.
If they do, they may be touching on some truth (sometimes, Strangé get cranké), but they’re missing the larger point: Gaga, definitively, could not exist without Jones, Madge, and Mercury, and she seems very much aware of that. In fact, she acknowledges them ad nauseum in her album liner notes and interviews and in, basically, the way she lives her outsized life-as-performance-art existence (bedazzled face crustaceans for brunch! Personal head planetarium for Ellen!) every day—if not in the fairly straightforward and markedly commercial (much more, at least, than Grace’s ever were) pop songs that anchor it all.
If progenitors like Jones are sometimes a little bothered that Gaga sails so easily down the far-out road they paved—and with a much fatter wallet tucked in her triangle pants—is that jealousy, or just humanity?
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