Grace Jones Sounds Off On Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus & Rihanna In New Autobiography

Published: Thursday 10th Sep 2015 by David
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Much to the consternation of her fans the artist that is Grace Jones oft finds herself forgotten by an industry she helped to shape.

Perhaps unwilling to employ tactics used by her former rival Madonna to stay relevant recent years have seen Jones observe a new batch of Pop contenders rise to the top armed with concepts she created in her prime.

She isn’t impressed by this…at all.

How we know? She said so in her brand new autobiography in which she assesses the careers of Lady GaGa, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus.

Her words below…

I come from the underground. I am never comfortable in the middle of the stream, flowing in the same direction as everyone else. I think people assume that’s where I want to be, famous for being famous, because as part of what I do there is a high level of showing off. But my instinct is always to resist the pull of the obvious. It’s not easy.

Trends come along and people say, ‘Follow that trend’. There’s a lot of that around at the moment: ‘Be like Sasha Fierce. Be like Miley Cyrus. Be like Rihanna. Be like Lady Gaga. Be like Rita Ora and Sia. Be like Madonna.’ I cannot be like them – except to the extent that they are already being like me.

I have been so copied by those people who have made fortunes that people assume I am that rich. But I did things for the excitement, the dare, the fact that it was new, not for the money, and too many times I was the first, not the beneficiary.

Rihanna… she does the body-painting thing I did with Keith Haring, but where he painted directly on my body, she wears a painted bodysuit. That’s the difference. Mine is on skin; she puts a barrier between the paint and her skin. I don’t even know if she knows that what she’s doing comes from me, but I bet you the people styling her know. They know the history.

I remember when one of the singers on the list of those who came after me first said that she wanted to work with me. Everyone around me is going: ‘You have to do it, it will be so good for you, it will introduce you to a whole new audience, you will make a lot of money’. No! It will be good for her; she will draw from everything I have built and add it to her brand, and I will get nothing back except for a little temporary attention. No one could believe that I said no, but I am okay on my own. I am okay not worrying about a new audience. If the f*** don’t feel right, don’t f*** it.

With this one, who I will call Doris, I thought she was trying on other people’s outfits: she’s a baby in a closet full of other people’s clothes, a little girl playing dress-up, putting on shoes that don’t fit. I could see what she wanted to be when I watched her doing something when she started out that was starker and purer. Deep down, she doesn’t want to do all the dressing-up nonsense; she loses herself inside all the play-acting.

The problem with the Dorises and the Nicki Minajes and Mileys is that they reach their goal very quickly. There is no long-term vision, and they forget that once you get into that whirlpool then you have to fight the system that solidifies around you in order to keep being the outsider you claim you represent. There will always be a replacement coming along very soon – a newer version, a crazier version, a louder version. So if you haven’t got a long-term plan, then you are merely a passing phase, the latest trend, yesterday’s event.

They dress up as though they are challenging the status quo, but by now, wearing those clothes, pulling those faces, revealing those tattoos and breasts, singing to those fractured, spastic, melting beats – that is the status quo. You are not off the beaten track, pushing through the thorny undergrowth, finding treasure no one has come across before. You are in the middle of the road. You are really in Vegas wearing the sparkly full-length gown singing to people who are paying to see you but are not really paying attention. If that is what you want, fine, but it’s a road to nowhere.

I look at Doris and I think: Does she look happy? She looks lost, like she is desperately trying to find the person she was when she started. She looks like really she knows she is in Vegas, now that Vegas is the whole entertainment world filtered through the internet, through impatient social media. I don’t mind her dressing up, but when she started to dance like Madonna, almost immediately, copying someone else, it was like she had forgotten what it was about her that could be unique. Ultimately, it is all about prettiness and comfort, however much they pretend they are being provocative.

Kate Moss often says to me that I am the only performer around at the moment who deserves to be called a diva.That gets us arguing, seemingly a little too serious if anyone hears us. I hate that word diva. It’s been so abused! Every singer given a makeover or a few weeks on a talent show seems to be called a diva these days! Christ almighty. Where’s the exclusivity? It’s so commercial now. For me, a diva is like the great opera singer, the great film star – out of reach, in their own world, with a real gift for invention, attention-demanding performance artists with a flamboyant, compelling sense of their own importance, so special and inimitable it verges on the alien. And of course the word is usually used to describe an apparently erratic female whose temperamental qualities, survival instincts, and dedication to perfection are seen as weaknesses, as self-indulgent, not a strength. So, Kate, I am not a diva. I am a Jones!

This is what I would say to my pupil: you have become only your fame, and left behind most of who you were. How are you going to deal with that? Will you lose that person forever? Have you become someone else, without really knowing it? Do you always have to stay in character for people to like you? Do you know that you are in character?

Doris, I would say fame is all well and good if you want to take it to another level. If you have some greater purpose. Me, I am just a singer, on one sort of stage or another, who likes to have an audience, but not all the time. Listen to my advice; I have some experience. In a way, it is me being a teacher, which is what I wanted to be. I still feel I could go into teaching. What is teaching but passing on your knowledge to those who are at the beginning? Some people are born with that gift. With me, the teaching side morphed into the performing side. It’s in there. And these are my pupils – Gaga, Madonna, Annie Lennox, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Miley, Kanye West, FKA Twigs and… Doris.

‘I Will Never Write My Memoir’ hits retailers on September 24th.

Here’s hoping a number of artists (male and female) learn from the above.

Isn’t it insane that in a time in which everything and everyone claims to be so advanced Pop’s leading ladies fail to learn from artists who achieved more…with a whole lot less.

That isn’t to say that likes of Grace, Janet, Cyndi and Madonna weren’t without their flaws but – unlike their “daughters”- these ladies and their producers place innovation, storytelling at the heart of their brands and remained at the top by pushing subject matter with roots that ran far deeper than sex.

Where is Rihanna‘s ‘Papa Don’t Preach’ or Beyonce‘s ‘New Agenda’?

Nowhere to be found and it’s pretty sad considering that today’s artists are far more connected to their listeners than their predecessors were thanks to social media.

So, let us know…

Do you agree with Ms. Jones?

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  1. Who gonna check me boo?? September 10, 2015

    Drag a bit sis World war 3 is about to start in the comment section i’ am literally screaming at her calling Britknee Doris

    • You tried September 10, 2015

      YASSSSSSSS! Love her

      • FRESH NAVI September 10, 2015

        Ya’ll are so stupid.
        She’s clearly talking about LADY GAGA who has copied her many a times, who is always playing a character and has seemingly lost her identity as you can see in the mess that is ARTPOP.

    • Ovo Barbie September 10, 2015

      Doris is Gaga. Reading comprehension is key.

      • Who gonna check me boo?? September 10, 2015

        But isn’t britknee the one rotting away in Vegas giving us zombie tease? Anyway all of your fave got shaded so it doesn’t matter

      • repo September 10, 2015

        I’m sorry but obviously u dumb or either can’t read…. if you read the whole article u would obviously see at the bottom she mentioned gaga’s name first and everyone else’s and then typed (and… Doris) which is obviously Britney smh. READING CORRECTLY IS THE KEY.

      • Chile, leave my weave at the door and don’t steal it like those broke ass barb stans September 10, 2015

        Doris cant be gaga because at the end of the excerpt she mentioned them separately as one of her “pupils”.

  2. lolhart September 10, 2015

    No lies detected. Grace was ahead of her time. She didn’t fit with Conservative America in the 1970s and 1980s. But Europe embraced her.

    • Carey Like Mariah September 10, 2015

      Yes Ms Jones! I just got my entire life this morning! She read as if she was a Professor Emeritus of English Literature. And to top it off, EVERYTHING she said was spot on–without sounding obnoxious or arrogant, she just kept it real. I will definitely be getting this autobiography once it hits my local library. ????

      Also, is ‘Doris’ Britney Spears? lmfaooo I thought it was Beyoncé at first, then she mentioned Vegas so I thought it was Mariah, but then she said how the artist was trying to dance like Madonna, so it has to be Brit. Right?

      & How do I add an avatar on this website? I want to have a pic of Mariah…

      • What now September 10, 2015

        Wen going back and rereading it, it has 2 b Gaga… back wen Gaga debuted she paid huge homage 2 Grace and Grace turned it down and shaded tf out of Gaga and said Gaga had no true identity or etc. Gaga haz always been compared 2 Madonna, so it couldn’t be more obvious. Britney was a Janet clone, but bc she was white, people categorized ha az one of Madonna’s daughters wen that couldn’t be anymore further from the truth.

        Gravatar.com

      • BE YOURSELF September 10, 2015

        @ What now, exactly.

    • Girl bye September 10, 2015

      Her sleeping with a white man didn’t hurt either.

  3. christinastherealtalent September 10, 2015

    Yassssss!!!! Grace just said what everybody else is too chicken sh*t to say!

    • truth(nicki the reason A.I. is cancelled and Meek playn ha!!) September 10, 2015

      I c no lies. Doris is Beyonce. CLEARLY!!

  4. Suicide Blonde September 10, 2015

    She’s a goddess, criminally underrated, she has influenced many pop girls, she can say what she wants about her daughters, she birthed them, just like Cher, Madonna and Janet, they earned the right to rip those girls to shreds.

    Now playing: Corporate Cannibal.

  5. RebelHeart September 10, 2015

    And don’t forget “Doris” who is code word for Beyonce!

    • Unbiased September 10, 2015

      That’s code for Britney or Lady Gaga. I’ve never seen Bey dance like Madonna. And she ain’t sitting in no Vegas, she selling out stadiums…

  6. COLE September 10, 2015

    “For me, a diva is like the great opera singer, the great film star – out of reach, in their own world, with a real gift for invention, attention-demanding performance artists with a flamboyant, compelling sense of their own importance, so special and inimitable it verges on the alien”.

    EXACTLY, Ms. Jones…

    And this pathetic site has the audacity to refer to Beyonce’ as a “Diva” and “Legend” when she is just as much ‘unoriginal’ and ‘hyper-commercial’ as the rest of these flaccid pop stars, trying desperately to remain “current” and “mainstream” by oversexualizing every inch of her persona to get attention these past several years. Truth be told, the woman knows nothing about “artistry” and never will.

    I also like how the title post avoided adding Beyonce’s name when Grace blatantly spoke about “Sasha Fierce” too and highlighted her as being just as much a “trend” as everybody else.

    • Suicide Blonde September 10, 2015

      Amen.

    • BE YOURSELF September 10, 2015

      You know Suicide Blonde/RebelHeart, you could have stated this under your real name, smh.

      • BE YOURSELF September 10, 2015

        Really, consigning yourself, smh.

      • Suicide Blonde September 10, 2015

        @Be Yourself
        Me trolling, laughs, i’m not that kind of person, i’m too arrogant and proud to do that, that would be an insult to my intelligence, which i consider to be my biggest strength TGJ staff can confirm this, i bet they know everything we do here.

      • BE YOURSELF September 10, 2015

        @ Suicide/Tranet the ghost whisper, save it, you’re so transparent. I would sit here and call you out even further, even exposing your so called a arrogance/insecurity’s, but that would be to easy.

      • Suicide Blonde September 10, 2015

        Dear TGJ staff can you guys do me a favor and confirm what i’m saying, i’m begging you, i wonder why you think that i’m a troll?, i don’t get it.

    • Huh September 10, 2015

      Beyonce is a Diva though. She is extremely talented, has a massive impact, and her name will be remembered. She is an attention demading performer! Several legends like Diana Ross, Prince, Mariah Carey, Tina Turner, and Michael Jackson have praised her. She has been in the industry almost 20 years, I wouldn’t consider that a passing trend.

      • COLE September 10, 2015

        In this day and age, most of, if not all, “legendary” pop music figures from decades beforehand compliment the pop stars of new generations but that doesn’t make their opinion viable.

        1) Rihanna debuted in 2005, it is now 2015. Is she a “Diva” or “Legend”? No.

        2) Mile Cyrus debuted in 2006, it is not 2015. Is she a “Diva” or “Legend”? No

        3) Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj debuted in the mainstream arena during the same time, more or less; 2008 and 2009 respectively. Are they “Diva’s” or “Legend’s”? No.

        In due time, every single one of these aforementioned Pop acts would have made it to 15, 20, 25+ years in the music industry and that still wouldn’t make them “Diva’s” or “Legend’s”.

        Do you know what it means to be a “Legend”?

        Some artists may have had “Iconic” or “Legendary” moments that solidified their reputation but that still does not make them “Legend’s”. Being a “Legend” is so much more than record breaking song and album sales and tours etc… It’s about making a statement as an actual artist and NONE of these pop stars have done that yet including Beyonce’.

    • What now September 10, 2015

      The reason they didn’t call out Sasha Fierce is bc TGJ couldn’t shade their own fav bc of their bias journalism and pettiness.

    • Lets Be Real September 10, 2015

      A 20 year trend?nope sorry.Gaga YES she came and went.Beyonce is still selling stadiums out and making big moves.im gonna give the girl her flowers NOW!she is a legend.end of story.

    • Legend B September 10, 2015

      But shes a living legend though and your opinion is non valid hatin biitch

  7. Huh September 10, 2015

    Sell those memoirs Grace, because your were the first and only black woman to have strong sense of outlandish and clothing, Patti Labelle or Tina Turner never existed….I always admired her, but why attack those that have obviously been influenced by you? Michael Jackson was probably the most influential man in the industry, but he embraced the artists that were influenced by him. Usher, N’Sync, Beyonce, Chris Brown etc. Some women can be so catty..

    • Lmfao_Hoe September 10, 2015

      I don’t think it was being catty as she clearly doesn’t receive her props for what she has done, her contributions have to be recognize and bold enough to let it be known that she started that wave. That example with MJ is a far reach as Chris, Usher, Beyonce and others will never do or reach the Level of stardom Mike was on. Top of that Michael was able to receive his respect n dues before his death n not only in America but the whole world knew.

      • Jake September 10, 2015

        Yes , because he played the game! The mainstream/money/fame game . Grace choosed not . If she did she’d probably be a female MJ but she choosed to be a marginal … And now that other artist came after her with less talent than her and her style she feels some type of way . She ain’t wrong but she’s still being catty . And how is Doris Beyoncé? Y’all are always on Beyoncé legendary duck .

  8. What now September 10, 2015

    Rihanna haz paid homage to all of the ladies (Janet, Madonna, Grace, Mariah, Whitney, and etc.). The 1st Doris sounds like Gaga and the 2nd 1 sounds like Beyoncè. She basically told no lies, but I’m here 4 these comments. *sips Vodka & tea*

    • Unbiased September 10, 2015

      Doris could be Rihanna with the way R8 heading. It isn’t Beyonce because she never tried to work with her and she doesn’t dance like Madonna. Didn’t your fave say she was the black Madonna *sips*

      • #JACKIE September 10, 2015

        She said Rihanna’s name. Whoever it is she doesn’t want to say her name.

      • What now September 10, 2015

        Sure said she inspired 2 b the black Madonna, but she never danced like Madonna. Didn’t Bey just say that Madonna inspired her business woman and etc.? Isn’t Haunted a copy from Hollywood? Y r u even trying it? She clearly said Doris to solve what avoid Sasha’s idiot hive and Gaga’s monsters. Sip ur store brand tea elsewhere. Thank u.

      • Unbiased September 10, 2015

        Stop trying to be shady, when she dragged your so-called trendsetter Rihanna. Bey doesn’t dance like Madonna, because one she isn’t stiff. She isn’t in Vegas or etc. So she ain’t talking about her. It’s either Britney or Gaga.

      • BE YOURSELF September 10, 2015

        Reading comprehension is key everyone, she’s clearly speaking about Lady Gaga, who tries to emulate Madonna, dances like her, image, videos, everything. Lady Gaga also wanted to work with Ms Jones, who blatantly declined.

      • What now September 10, 2015

        I c u all want 2 bash Rihanna 4 no reason bc she called out Sasha Fierce. Argue with yourselves, bc I ain’t time 4 u idiots.

      • xedos September 10, 2015

        reading is fundamenta.l she called rihanna’s name when she was talking about her, so why would Doris be rihanna?

  9. Stephy September 10, 2015

    Interesting read…

  10. #JACKIE September 10, 2015

    So unnecessary. These old singers be so catty and bitter. Grace is a legend and icon but she needs to chill.

  11. Jerome September 10, 2015

    Rihanna has Diamonds and Beyonce has Halo and FKA Twigs does have her own lane. Art is not philosophy, it’s an expression, it changes over time. I agree with only a fourth of what she is saying because the rest is just self-indulgence, these women live in a different world and will therefore express themselves differently… they didn’t choose to be born in an era where almost anything you can think of has already been done which is why everything they do will be linked to something done Before. And a true expert on art will tell you that it has no boundaries, you’ve had your time… now sit down and let others be.

  12. Stephy September 10, 2015

    Of-course, this will turn into a bashing Beyonce post. Chawl, Bey has given praise & respect to basically every legendary diva in the game. Everything’s been done under the sun, ain’t nothing really been “innovative/original” since the 1960s/1970s tbh…

    Once again, thing’s have gradually changed, nothing’s really new… Just NEW WAYS of doing OLD TRICKS basically.

  13. BoyToy1814 September 10, 2015

    Testify sista Grace!!!

  14. xedos September 10, 2015

    What you all fail to understand this generation is learning from the grace Jones’ . This generation is more about business than art. they saw artist before them end up broke this is a business generation. these artist makes more in one year than the grace Jones’ makes in their whole career. sometimes i think this is why the older artist try to shade the younger ones. one thing she cannot teach this generation is making money.

  15. Oscar September 10, 2015

    I’m screaming she read them like it was her job ????????????

  16. ProfessorKeatingIFYaNasty September 10, 2015

    Excuse you Grace Jones?!? Who gave you permission to snatch me up like this! Gurl, i’m crying at the way Grace sonned all the industry b*tches of yesteryear. She’s right though, a lot of them do not realise the sources of the artforms they are imitating but their stylists/industry people do. Inspiration is so much further than Madge or Janet, but most of the teenagers/20somethings on here don’t have a catalogue of music outside the 80s/90s.

    • ProfessorKeatingIFYaNasty September 10, 2015

      OOOOP *asks the waiter for the cheque*

  17. Kelendria September 10, 2015

    How you write an autobiography about other people.

  18. Citi September 10, 2015

    Doris is gaga. At first I thought it was Britney but she refers to Vegas as the entertainment industry, not the actual physical location of Vegas.

  19. Barb-wire September 10, 2015

    Unnecessary shade Ms Jones! Why she gotta scalp them industry gurls like that? And how does a person respond to this?

  20. Natasha3 September 10, 2015

    You guys aren’t doing ya’ll self a favor by leaving her name out of the title because other blogs are reporting that Grace trashed Beyonce as well. It must burns ya’ll to know that everyone is NOT going to bow down to her. Fact is: Beyonce has as much gimmicks as the other girls, she’s NOT exempt from it.

    • ProfessorKeatingIFYaNasfy September 10, 2015

      ONE person who is definitely biting off of Ms. Jones style is Dawn Richards (even tho I love her)…. so where’s her mention?

      • ProfessorKeatingIFYaNasfy September 10, 2015

        That was a seperate comment, unrelated to yours

    • Beyhive September 10, 2015

      Yes other websites are saying Grace bashed Bey! Theyre putting Beys name at the front of the story simply because she can sell a story faster than any of the other artists named! Tbh what Grace has to say about Bey didnt go beyond the name sasha fierce!! She just referenced her!! Bey have been the. Biggest thing in music for the past 10 yrs!! Of course they make it look like grace bashed her more than others when in fact she didnt bash her at alll………

  21. Arie September 10, 2015

    Clearly the artist that wanted to work with her and reap all the benefits is/ was Gaga and the Doris is Beyonce because she is playing dress up and experimenting with all the Divas before her’s images and sound. If you don’t believe look at her image you find a little of Tina, Diana, Janet and others.

    • Beyhive September 10, 2015

      Bytch please!!! Bey have practically looked the same her entire career! The style of grace jones are for those with no vocal chops! Comparing Bey to grace is like Comparing Cher to Michael Jackson

  22. k September 10, 2015

    Grace Jones the legend the original don dadda as spoken and she is so right, this isn’t a knock it’s a advice, she was talking about my fav too Nicki and Riri.i hope they tak this as the advice that it is and don’t feel some type of way. nicki loves grace jones anyways so i don’t think she will take this the wrong way.

  23. TRUTH SERUM September 10, 2015

    I’ve been screaming at the top off lungs that Gags borrowed heavily from Grace. If you’re a fan of grace you could easily pick that up.

  24. Shady81 September 10, 2015

    Yes Miss Jones did that she dragged, read, scalped, and burned those imitators on a stake damn I’m team Grace Jones all the way legends always prevail while the others fail.

  25. BKKId September 10, 2015

    And to think Grace Jones loved and respected Lil Kim enough fo work with her tells you A LOT. Kim is an innovator and is the one of the only artists to pay homage respectfully AND still manage to be original during her time.

    These girls are mannequins, walking zombies. Just dead. No life in their eyes. Just doing whatever will garner them a quick check and some quick notoriety.

    Thank you Ms. Jones for this early morning read.

  26. iSpeakTruthNoFallacy September 10, 2015

    Is it me or does he sound bitter? Yes, many of the artist have been influenced by him; however many contemporaries have experienced far much more success. No matter how much I think Gaga is a circus freak, we will always remember that one year she changed pop. We will always remember Beyonce for show stopping performances. We will always remember Rihanna for a multitude of hits that defined a generation. Yet, we will never Grace Jones for her music. We remember her as the crazy ass amazon man/woman who’s art dared to defy the standards in white supremacy culture. Not for any music…

  27. RICHIE_RICH September 10, 2015

    She clearly stated who her pupils were. Why would she state Gaga first and Doris last? I’m thinking she’s talking about Brit.

  28. Chile, leave my weave at the door and don’t steal it like those broke ass barb stans September 10, 2015

    Wait! So if Gaga isn’t “Doris”, then who could she be talking about? Kii! She is about to unleash a whirlwind of problems, but it is true that she deserves acclaim for those things she did FIRST! I cant believe her brother is a pastor and he encouraged her to work with Gaga.

    All things aside though, her song “I Need a Man” is the absolute truth and I enjoyed the grunts and screams she does when performing it. Oh, and kii that Madonna is performing one of her songs on her new tour.

  29. msyonce September 10, 2015

    “”They dress up as though they are challenging the status quo, but by now, wearing those clothes, pulling those faces, revealing those tattoos and b******, singing to those fractured, spastic, melting beats “”

    hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  30. Legend B September 10, 2015

    Kii Kii Some people would see the rain coming down and tell someone else its not raining smdh. She did said, that Sasha Fierce took from her but she never went in detail talkin about The Queen in code or out like the others. The Queen never started off starker or pure, and she never said she wanted to work with Grace. So where is she coming for King B, other than saying Sasha Fierce has taken from her???

  31. Legend B September 10, 2015

    Gaga, Rihoeianna, Madonna, Mylie and Nicki have all once dressed weird as fuuck or did it their whole career. Thats who the shade is thrown at kii kii

  32. Juanez Diaz September 10, 2015

    Amazing how Rihanna stans credit her with everything she presents “visually”. She is one of the biggest manufactured artists to date. Of all the women Grace Jones mentioned, Rihanna has taken from her the most. Don’t believe me? —-> Rated R.

    • Anonymous September 28, 2015

      She also mentioned Vegas, which she referred to it as the entertainment world filtered through the Internet. Also when u start to dance like Madonna u forgot what it was about u that made u that could be unique. She goes on to talk about the prettiness and comfort while pretending to be herself.im sorry but this is rihanna(Doris).

  33. ChrisFresh September 10, 2015

    Doris is Gaga but whatever shes rich for life now

  34. Shaquinisha-rose September 11, 2015

    PEOPLE. Doris is not Britney. Grace says “I remember when one of the people on the list- With this one, whom I will call Doris”

    People on the list; Sasha Fierce. Be like Miley Cyrus. Be like Rihanna. Be like Lady Gaga. Be like Rita Ora and Sia. Be like Madonna.

    Vega does not mean las Vegas. It’s a METAPHOR.

    • Shaquinisha-rose September 11, 2015

      *Vegas

  35. Anonymous September 28, 2015

    Doris was a reference to Rihanna. The magazine shoot with the snakes on the head and naked, a lot of her magazine poses were first done by grace jones. She also said she wanted to work with Grace.

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