Feb 02, 2009 12:00AM

The Devil and Miss Jones

It has been almost 20 years since Grace Jones seemingly disappeared off the radar, like a planet falling out the sky. The woman who nicknamed herself the "Black Panther", quietly rode out the 90s, laying in wait for her time to come again. It's no coincidence then that the lead single on her new album, Hurricane, is titled Corporate Cannibal and has her booming lines like "I am a man, a man-eating machine" in that trademark deep, husky voice. Sound scary? It is. Just when you thought she was gone, the queen of reinvention is back to teach the 21st-century a lesson. Sarah Boothe writes.

Grace Jones, the model, actress, Bond girl, songstress, alcoholic, sex machine and muse to Andy Warhol, is fabulously crazy. "It must be some kind of schizophrenia or multiple personality disorder ? I guess that's what they call it these days ? I just call it being me," she says matter-of-factly. "I wore nothing to a party once. I was in Paris and I just wore teeth and bones from an animal around my neck. Then I sat next to a prime minister. It was great!" Undoubtedly one of the most iconic characters to emerge and survive New York's equally infamous Studio 54, the Jamaican-American has suddenly teleported herself to the 21st-century, only to find it's like she never left. At the age of 60, Jones recently played alongside acts such as Gang of Four and Fleet Foxes at the 2008 Meltdown Festival in London, where she had the audience eating out of her hand. Stalking the stage in a catsuit, the "Black Panther" occasionally launched herself into the crowd while belting out hits like her famous club anthem 'Slave To The Rhythm'. In spite of such a long hiatus, she found her music had made its own way to a new generation of fans. "I didn't plan it, but my catalogue keeps getting bigger and bigger," says Jones. "People are sampling it or taking tracks from it and it has a bigger and bigger life on the internet."

As if to confirm that she is well and truly back from obscurity, Emanuel Ungaro chose to headline his recent summer 09 show in Paris with Jones' new track 'This Is'. Furthermore, she was named Q Magazine's Icon of the Year. On accepting her award, Jones said, "I know I haven't done any music for a long time [but] coming through the press line people were saying, 'Grace, you've come back'! Only Lazarus came back. He was dead. I'm not dead. I've just been on holiday underground." While on "holiday", her larger than life presence influenced everyone from artists R