Grace Jones reveals her Meltdown festival line-up

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Solange Knowles and reggae veteran Jimmy Cliff will perform at Grace Jones’s edition of Meltdown festival.

The revered singer, 71, known for her androgynous look and distinctive wardrobe, is curating and headlining the annual Southbank Centre event.

Her line-up celebrates boundary-breaking artists and musicians with a global impact.

Field Day Festival – London
Solange Knowles is among the performers selected by Grace Jones (Yui Mok/PA)

Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Knowles, sister of Beyonce, will play on June 12.

Cliff, who penned anthems including I Can See Clearly Now and You Can Get It If You Really Want, will take to the stage on June 14.

British rock band Skunk Anansie will celebrate 25 years since they formed in London with a special show on June 18.

The line-up also features Canadian queer musician Peaches, Malian act Oumou Sangare, Sengalese star Baaba Maal, South African choral group Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Jamaican dub producer Lee “Scratch” Perry.

Glastonbury Jimmy Cliff
Jimmy Cliff will bring his reggae classics to London (Yui Mok/PA)

Jones said: “As everyone knows, I’m a collector, and I collect people amongst other things. This is what I have done for Meltdown.

“These wonderful artists I have chosen represent something unique to me personally and to my career. From Baaba Maal to Skunk Anansie to Solange.

“Each one of these artists has a little bit of me in them, and now I am proud to present them all to you.

“By the time I close the festival with my performance on June 21, everyone who has attended any one of these shows will have had an incredible live concert experience, given to them with love from me, Grace Jones.”

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The festival takes place around the Southbank Centre in London (Katie Collins/PA)

Bengi Unsal, head of contemporary music at Southbank Centre, said: “We’re so excited to welcome such a diverse and powerful line-up of artists to Southbank Centre for Grace Jones’s Meltdown.

“Grace has always been a champion of the bold and unexpected and her Meltdown will be no exception.

“I’m looking forward to a daring, fierce and unforgettable 10 days.”

Jones was one of the first black supermodels before signing to Island Records.

She became a star of New York City’s Studio 54-centred disco scene and in the 1980s moved to a new-wave hybrid of reggae, funk, pop and rock.

Albums include Warm Leatherette, Nightclubbing, and Slave To The Rhythm.

She is also known for starring as a villain in Bond film A View To A Kill and for slapping presenter Russell Harty live on air in 1981 when she thought he was ignoring her.

Previous curators of the music and arts festival have included The Cure’s Robert Smith, David Bowie, Yoko Ono, rapper MIA and Jones’s former collaborator Nile Rodgers.

Grace Jones’s Meltdown runs from June 12-21 at the Southbank Centre, London.


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