Jill Jones (born July 11, 1962) is an American singer and songwriter, who performed as a backing vocalist for Teena Marie and Prince in the 1980s.
Jones was born in Ohio on July 11, 1962. Her mother, a fashion model, is of African American and Native American heritage, and her father, a jazz drummer, is Italian. Jones was raised mostly by her grandparents, until relocating to Los Angeles when her mother remarried. She began a singing career at age fifteen as a backup vocalist for her cousin Teena Marie, whom her mother managed.
Today, Jones is a passionate supporter of liberal causes. She maintains her own fan pages on Myspace and Facebook.
Highlights from her early career include various collaborative works with Prince in the 1980s-1990s, including a collaborative debut released under her own name.
Jones' solo career since 2001 has witnessed the release of three acoustic and dance albums, with 2009's "Living for the Weekend" being her most recent album.
Early music career:
Jones met Prince in 1980 at age 18, when Teena Marie was the opening act during his Dirty Mind tour. Prince loved her voice, encouraged her to sing, and stayed in touch with Jones. She became a backup vocalist for Prince when he invited her to the Sunset Sound recording studios in 1982, to sing backing vocals for several tracks on the album 1999. She was credited under just her initials J.J. She also was featured in music videos for the songs "1999" and "Little Red Corvette", as well as in an unreleased video for "Automatic", and then joined the tour for 1999 to sing backing vocals with the Prince side-project Vanity 6. After the tour, she moved to Minneapolis and became Prince's on-and-off again girlfriend. She had a bit part as a waitress in the film Purple Rain (1984), and had a more-than-cameo appearance in the sequel Graffiti Bridge (1990), where she takes off an undergarment to end a conflicting scene with Prince.
Her debut album was the self-titled Jill Jones (1987), released on Prince's Paisley Park Records. Prince was credited as a co-writer with Jones, but wrote all of the songs himself. Upon its release, the album received positive reviews from critics, but was not a commercial success. As of 2007, the album has been out of print for many years.
Several demos were recorded for a second album on Paisley Park, and a video was filmed for the track "Boom Boom", but an album never surfaced. In 1993, she released the dance single "Bald" on Flying Records.
Jones also did backing vocals for Apollonia 6 and recorded the Prince-written single "G-Spot". She also sang lead vocals on Japanese artist Ryuichi Sakamoto's single "You Do Me" from his 1990 album Beauty, and contributed a version of Blondie's "Call Me" to a Giorgio Moroder tribute album. In addition, Jones wrote and co-produced the song "The Great Pretender" for Lisa Lisa. She was also lead vocalist for the band Baby Mother, who recorded an album in 1995 for London Records, which remains unreleased. In 1996, she toured performing co-lead vocals as part of Chic with Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards before his death, and can be heard on the 1999 Chic release "Live At The Budokan".
The Prince song "She's Always In My Hair", a B-side to the single "Raspberry Beret" (1985), was written about Jones.
Though Prince aided in the production of her first album, there was no input from Prince on the second one, which was more pop-rock oriented. From 2001 to the present, Jones has proven to be just as comfortable with performing acoustic rock as she is with producing edgy and modern dance tracks.
She is also featured in the unreleased Vanity 6 song "Vibrator". In this song, she does a skit in a department store where Vanity goes to get batteries for her vibrator. Prince is also in the skit.
With the help of former Paisley Park photographer and close friend David Honl, Jones released a second album entitled Two in 2001, with instrumentalist Chris Bruce.
Jones performed lead vocals in 2004's album "The Grand Royals Ft. Jill Jones - Wasted".
In 2008, Jill Jones surprised audience members during a performance in New York by Jeremy Gloff, by coming up on stage to sing along with Jeremy's cover of her song "So Much in Love" On April 28, 2009, Jones released "Living for the Weekend" on the "Peace Bisquit" label. Although "Wasted" and "Two" are out of print, both albums can be found on the iTunes Store, along with "Living for the Weekend".
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license