Jill Jones to Headline 7th Annual LGBT+ Pride Festival
Singer, Actress, Songwriter, Activist To Perform at Stockton Pride 2018
Who is Jill Jones? That question has confounded the public (literally since the day she was born) as a nurse tried to foist the wrong newborn on her unsuspecting mother! It was the perfect kickoff to a life that has been distinguished by Jill’s ability to adapt in myriad situations. As a solo artist, Jill Jones has proven equally adept at stripped-down ballads, acoustic narratives, cutting-edge R&B and chart-topping dance tracks. Her raw talent and mercurial disposition have enabled her to collaborate as a writer and vocalist with an unparalleled array of fellow artists: Teena Marie, Prince, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Nile Rodgers & Bernard Edwards, Ronny Jordan and Chris Bruce and more. Jill never fails to delight—and surprise—her listeners.
From the outset, Jill’s life was unconventional. Her African American/Native American mother was a model and a singer; having worked as a Playboy Bunny, which undoubtedly influenced Jill’s forward-thinking attitudes about sex and sensuality. Her Italian father was a jazz drummer. With the latter out of the picture early on, and the former often traveling for work, Jill was raised primarily by her grandparents, amidst her extended family in Lebanon, Ohio (a small town between Dayton and Cleveland). Early on, she recognized that being different had its pros and cons. “I had troubles with teachers at school keeping me separated from my cousins, because they were darker and I was lighter,” she explains.
“Once you start to look at Jill’s background, there’s a commonality with the youth growing up in our own community today.” Mixed race, raised by extended family and yet multi-talented, passionate with a vibrancy for life”, Nicholas Hatten, Pride Center Director explains. “We just knew we had to have her as part of our local pride celebration.”
Best known for her star performance in the hit film Purple Rain and for her breakout featured vocals on the Prince global hit song and video, “1999”, Jill has recently become a popular outspoken social media voice. “Jill, long before the #MeToo Movement, has been championing women’s rights and LGBT+ rights through her social media platform. And it’s not always done in the most PC fashion. It is that fighting tenacity and spirit, much like our community’s own, that we want to spotlight and celebrate at Pride”, Nicholas concludes.