Happy birthday, Grace Slick! Today we’re celebrating this iconic and incredibly talented rock musician.
Grace Slick is a rock musician known for her role in creating several hit songs, and for her powerful voice and distinctive vibrato. Her music was a major part of the psychedelic music scene of the 60s. She began her career performing with the band The Great Society, which she formed with her husband Jerry Slick, his brother Darby Slick, and David Miner. Soon after the band’s first performance, Grace composed the song “White Rabbit”—reportedly in under an hour— about the effect of hallucinogenic drugs. The song was an instant fan favorite. The Great Society also produced the widely-renowned “Somebody To Love” during this time.
Grace’s career took off when she joined Jefferson Airplane. They released an album called Surrealistic Pillow, which contained recordings of both “White Rabbit” and “Somebody to Love.” Both songs became Billboard Top Ten singles, with Grace singing lead vocals on both tracks.
After Jefferson Airplane, Grace formed Jefferson Starship with some of her bandmates. Jefferson Starship released several iconic hits, including “We Built This City” (which was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group) and “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.”
Around the time of Jefferson Starship, Grace also began her solo career and produced a series of solo albums. One of these is Dreams, which chronicles her time in twelve-step meetings, and earned her a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Female Performance. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.
After she retired from her music career, Grace became a visual artist, creating portraits of fellow musicians from her time like Janis Joplin. She also wrote an autobiography entitled Somebody to Love? A Rock and Roll Memoir, published in 1998.
Not only is Grace a talented artist, but she has opened up the possibilities for other women in her field. Between 1985 and 1999, Grace was the oldest female vocalist on a Billboard Hot 100 chart-topping single, with “We Built This City” releasing just after her 46th birthday.
A powerful singer and the creator of several timeless hits, Grace has inspired generations of women and musicians with her talent and undeniable star quality.
© Julia Lasker (10/30/22) FF2 Media
LEARN MORE/DO MORE
Learn more about Grace Slick here.
Listen to Grace’s music here.
CREDITS & PERMISSIONS
Featured photo: “GRACE SLICK JEFFERSON AIRPLANE DREAMS lyrics sleeve original USA 12″ LP VINYL” by vinylmeister is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.