s a supermodel, pop star, Bond girl, artistic muse and artwork in herself, Grace Jones is a one-off. Born to an apostolic clergyman in Jamaica, Grace clearly had a higher calling, merging art, fashion and music into a larger-than-life, high-octane persona that has rocked our world for almost three decades. She’s also the true blueprint for a diva, slapping TV hosts years before Naomi even purchased her first mobile phone. Photographers and artists love working with her. Andy Warhol’s Grace Jones – all red lipstick, fierce flat-top and pink backdrop – is one of his last great portraits. Helmut Newton wrapped her in the arms of Dolf Lundgren to recreate Adam and Eve as a modern-day designer muscle couple. Keith Haring body-painted her into a parody Masai warrior. Perhaps most famously of all, Jean-Paul Goude shot her as a rippling racehorse – virtually naked, standing on one leg, bronzed and oiled, microphone in one hand, right leg raised at 90 degrees to meet her right arm – it is an astonishing image, albeit famously faked. Recently she has been working with Chris Levine, another artist straddling sculpture and photography: her 3D portrait, made up of 30 images hit by lasers, has the wizardry of a hologram and the humanity of a classic portrait – Madame Tussauds meets Irving Penn. Since the late 1970s, her strong visual presence was an advantage for her music videos and concert tours. In her concert performances, particularly during her years with Goude, she adopted various personas and wore outlandish costumes. To this day, she is known for her unique look at least as much as she is for her music and her style has been an inspiration for numerous other artists: decades before a certain other Lady cracked a beat and contemplated her first intrepid headpiece, Grace was blowing up discos with her provocative stage presence and incredible costumes/hats, many courtesy of milliner extraordinaire Stephen Jones. Still today she has not abdicated her throne as The Grande Dame of Avant Guard: she’s fierce, original, and tells it like it is. So, when she took on Lady Gaga in an interview with the Guardian newspaper, she stirred up a hornets’ nest. Asked how she felt about Gaga, Jones responded: “I really don’t think of her at all. I go about my business.” And what of accusations that Gaga had taken her style? “Well, you know, I’ve seen some things she’s worn that I’ve worn, and that does kind of piss me off.” Has Gaga asked her to collaborate? “Yes, she did, but I said no,” Jones responded. “I’d just prefer to work with someone who is more original and someone who is not copying me, actually.” Jones is not the first artist to have some words for Gaga of late. “Paper Planes” singer M.I.A. recently called Gaga out on her music, saying it wasn’t as “weird” as she’d like us to believe. “She models herself on Grace Jones and Madonna, but the music sounds like 20-year-old Ibiza music, you know? She’s not progressive, but she’s a good mimic.” To tell the true, Gaga herself told Fuse last year to be in debt to Grace Jones: “Grace is such an inspiration to me, which is why with all the rumours that have flown around over the year, I was always excited because the androgyny of the woman. It’s this kind of fascinating thing that nobody understands or wants to understand unless you’re in the beautiful subculture that is my fans and the gay community.” So, is it true Gaga is copying Grace’s style and look? In all honesty, can we really talk about any artist being “authentic” or “original” in the age of sampling? Probably not really, but let’s face it, there is a fundamental difference between being influenced by someone and mimicking them. After all, the point is this, how much we can talk about inspiration and quoting, how much about taking advantage of another’s one creativity. Delivering a verdict is up to you; to help the discussion, we present here a selection of some of the most amazing images of Grace, taken during her long, extraordinary and ever lasting career.