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ONTD Original: 10 Facts About Daring Singers Lydia Canaan and Grace Jones

Two performers who set out to follow their dreams and ended up breaking the mold in the music industry.

Lydia Canaan
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“I did make a career in Lebanon, but little did I know [that outside of Lebanon] I was being named the first rock star of the Middle East and a pioneer,”


Lydia grew up in conservative household in Lebanon. She developed a passion for music and poetry at a young age. She rebelled against her parents’ wishes and sneaked out of the house to perform rock music at gigs. Her dedication to music turned her into an idol.


1) Spent her younger years in Lebanon during the Lebanese Civil War
2) Studied at the Lebanese American University
3) She would trick her parents by throwing her leather mini-skirt out her window and walk out the house in normal clothing to attend gigs
4) Passionate about human rights
5) As a teen, she performed under the stage name “Angel” for heavy metal band “Equation”
6) Used her celebrity platform to discuss issues in Afghanistan, Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria, to name a few
7) First Middle-Eastern artist to sing only in English, have music videos played on MTV (Europe, Southeast Asia, Russia, and Middle East)
8) She is cataloged in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
9) Between the years 1984–1988, the band “Equation” sold out 25 shows
10) Despite tons of death threats, Lydia performed a sold out concert in Tripoli with extra security



Grace Jones
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“I have just as much woman in me as I have man. It’s just a matter of channeling the energy into which way you use it.”

There’s no good way to describe Grace Jones or the impact she’s made on the world. She came from a strict religious family in Jamaica and her father didn’t want her to sing for anyone but God. When she got to Paris she became a model from then on, an actress and singer. Partnered with Jean-Paul Goude, they created artistic music videos, album covers, and stage performances.


1) Initially modeling in NYC didn’t work out, so she moved to France
2) She doesn’t keep track of her age
3) When she told Jean-Paul she was pregnant with his child, he left her
4) Her first role was in “Gordon’s War”
5) Her performances at Studio 54 in NYC won her a large following in LGBTQ and art scene
6) She preferred cocaine blown or placed up her ass rather than snort it
7) Since she does not perform without being paid in full, she was once offered a baby as collateral at an event when they didn’t have the money to pay her
8) Andy Warhol and Debbie Harry threw her a baby shower
9) At a performance in Paris, fans got so excited they ripped off her costume and Yves St. Laurent made her a makeshift outfit with his own clothes so she could continue
10) Her inspiration for dressing like a man when modeling came from her little brother


Two women who defied their religious and conventional upbringings to break norms and become part of cultural change.

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Tags: black celebrities, fashion, middle eastern celebrities, models, music / musician (pop), music / musician (rock), ontd original
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