Jones secured a record deal with Island Records in 1977, which resulted in a string of dance-club hits. In the late 1970s, she adapted the emerging electronic music style and adopted a severe, androgynous look with square-cut hair and angular, padded clothes. In 1981, her “Pull Up to the Bumper” spent seven weeks at #2 on the U.S. Hot Dance Club Play chart, and became a Top 5 single on the U.S. R&B chart.
Jones’s musical output is popular in American clubs as many of the singles were hits on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play and Hot Dance Airplay charts. Jones was able to find mainstream success in Europe, particularly the United Kingdom, scoring a number of Top 40 entries on the UK Singles Chart.
Jones’s most notable albums are Warm Leatherette, Nightclubbing and Slave to the Rhythm, while her biggest hits (other than “Pull Up to the Bumper”) are “I’ve Seen That Face Before (Libertango)”, “Private Life”, “Slave to the Rhythm” and “I’m Not Perfect (But I’m Perfect for You)”.
During the 1970s, she also became a muse to Andy Warhol, who photographed her extensively. During this era she regularly went to the New York City nightclub Studio 54.
Jones is also an actress. Her acting occasionally overshadowed her musical output in America; but not in Europe, where her profile as a recording artist was much higher. She appeared in some low-budget films in the 1970s and early 1980s. Her work as an actress in mainstream film began in the 1984 fantasy-action film Conan the Destroyer alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the 1985 James Bond movie A View to a Kill. In 1986 she played a vampire in Vamp, and both acted in and contributed a song to the 1992 film Boomerang with Eddie Murphy. In 2001, she appeared in Wolf Girl alongside Tim Curry.
In 2000, Jones cut “The Perfect Crime”(to the show “Crime Perfeito”), an up-tempo song for Danish TV written by the composer duo Floppy M. aka Jacob Duus & Kåre Jacobsen. A year later, she appeared alongside Tim Curry in Wolf Girl (also known as Blood Moon), as a transvestite circus performer named Christoph/Christine. On 28 May 2002, she performed onstage in Modena, Italy with Italian opera tenor Luciano Pavarotti during his annual Pavarotti and Friends concert to support the UN refugee agency’s programs for Angolan refugees in Zambia. Together they performed the aria “Pourquoi me réveiller?” from Jules Massenet’s opera Werther. In November 2004, Jones sang her hit “Slave to the Rhythm” at a tribute concert for record producer Trevor Horn at London’s Wembley Arena. In April 2005 Jones raised a controversy, when she was accused of verbally abusing a Eurostar train manager in a quarrel over a ticket upgrade, and she either was escorted off the train or left of her own accord, later saying that she had been mistreated. In February 2006, Jones was the celebrity runway model for Diesel’s show in New York.
Grace Jones at Roskilde Festival 2009.
Producer Ivor Guest confirmed that he and Jones had completed recording her new album in 2007. Other participants on the album included the original Compass Point All Stars line-up, including Sly and Robbie, Mikey Chung and Wally Badarou, joined by Brian Eno, Bruce Woolley, Tricky and Tony Allen. The Hurricane album (initially to be titled Corporate Cannibal was released on 27 October 2008, on Wall of Sound/PIAS Records, meeting with positive reviews.”Corporate Cannibal” became the album’s lead single, with its music video directed by Nick Hooker. Jones embarked on a concert tour at the end of 08 and beginning of 09, and appeared at Secret Garden Party and Latitude Festival to promote the new album. The video for the second single, “Williams’ Blood”, used live footage from the Hurricane Tour. Grace Jones also collaborated with the avant-garde poet Brigitte Fontaine on a duet named ” Soufi” from Fontaine’s latest album ‘Prohibition’ released in the fall 2009, and produced by Ivor Guest. On 26 April 2010 Grace Jones performed at Royal Albert Hall, receiving rave reviews.A One Man Show was released on DVD, as Grace Jones – Live in Concert, in 2010 with 3 bonus videoclips (“Slave to the Rhythm”, “Love Is the Drug” and “Crush”). “Love You to Life”, the third single off Hurricane, was released on 2 May 2010. Grace Jones collaborated again with the French avant-garde poet Brigitte Fontaine on two tracks (Dancefloor and La Caravane) on Fontaine’s 2011 release entitled “L’un n’empêche pas l’autre”. (This album also produced by Ivor Guest). Jones performed at the opening ceremony of the 61st FIFA Congress.