Happy Birthday Grace Slick

October 30, 2016

Grace Barnett Wing was born on October 30, 1939 in Highland Park, Illinois to Ivan W. Wing of Norwegian and Swedish descent

and Virginia Barnett; a lineal descendant of passengers of the Mayflower.

Grace is an American singer-songwriter, musician, artist,

and former model, widely known in rock and roll history

for her role in San Francisco's burgeoning psychedelic music scene

in the mid-1960s.

Slick has been married to Gerald "Jerry" Slick,

a cinematographer from 1961 to 1971,

then to Skip Johnson; a Jefferson Starship lighting designer

from 1976 to 1994.

 

Grace has one child; a daughter,

China Wing Kantner born on January 25, 1971.

China's father is the former Jefferson Airplane guitarist Paul Kantner

with whom Slick had a relationship from 1969 to 1975.

China is an American actress of television, theatre, and cinema.

She is also a former MTV VJ.

 

Grace Slick's career spanned all or parts of four decades,

most notably with the bands Jefferson Airplane,

Jefferson Starship, and Starship.

Grace started with The Great Society

and also had stints as a solo performer.

Slick provided the lead vocals on a number of signature songs

of such bands including the "flower power era-psychedelic rock"

Airplane themes "Somebody to Love"

and "White Rabbit".

 

Slick is one of the first female rock stars,

alongside her close contemporary Janis Joplin,

so an important figure in the development of rock music in the late 1960s. Her distinctive vocal style and striking stage presence

exerted influence on other female performers,

including Stevie Nicks, Patti Smith, and many others.

Slick's longevity in the music business

helped her to earn a rather unusual distinction,

the oldest female vocalist on a Billboard Hot 100 chart-topping single

"We Built This City" reached number one on November 16, 1985

shortly after her 46th birthday.

 

Grace Slick was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996

as a member of Jefferson Airplane.

In 1993, she narrated the Stephen King short story

"You Know They Got a Hell of a Band"

on his Nightmares & Dreamscapes audiobook.

Pictured above with daughter China,

Grace Slick was ranked number 20

on VH1's 100 Greatest Women of Rock N Roll in 1999.

 

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