Who is Kidada Jones?
Kidada Ann Jones is an American actress, model, and fashion designer, best known as a designer for ‘The Walt Disney Company’ with her own line called ‘Kidada for Disney Couture.’ Daughter of famous American record producer, musician, and film producer Quincy Jones, and American actress and former model Peggy Lipton, Kidada grew up with several celebrities like Michael Jackson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar frequenting her house. She has worked with designer Tommy Hilfiger, music and entertainment magazine ‘Vibe,’ and designed a clothing line for Snoop Dogg before joining ‘The Walt Disney Company.’ She first garnered attention styling Michael Jackson for the cover of ‘Vibe.’ She has appeared in several fashion magazines, including ‘Harper's Bazaar,’ ‘Vogue,’ and ‘Elle.’ She has also appeared in films ‘Thicker Than Water’ and ‘Black & White.’ Kidada also offers consultancy on different projects of Disney.
Childhood & Early Life
Kidada Ann Jones was born on March 22, 1974, in Los Angeles, California, US, as the eldest daughter of Quincy Jones and Peggy Lipton. Born to celebrity parents, it was quite normal for Kidada to meet famous personalities like Michael Jackson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who frequented her home during her growing up years.
She grew up with her younger sister Rashida in Bel-Air, Los Angeles. Rashida became an actress and screenwriter. Her half-brother, Quincy Delight Jones III, is a music producer, film producer, and author. She is also half-sister to Rachel Jones, Kenya Kinski-Jones, Martina Jones and Jolie Jones.
Kidada is of African-American descent from her father’s side while her mother is Ashkenazi Jewish. She faced identity crisis while growing up and by the age of 15, she was thrown out of eleven schools for not fitting in. She graduated from Fairfax High School in Hollywood, California.
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She was a student of the California based for-profit college ‘Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising’ (FIDM) and left it after accepting an offer to work with American fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger of the ‘Tommy Hilfiger Corporation.’ An ad campaign focused on Kidada and some of her friends, including Oliver Hudson, Kate Hudson, Tamia and Aaliyah was launched by Hilfiger. Kidada also worked as a muse for the fashion designer for eight years.
Her initial endeavors in fashion designing saw her serving as a celebrity stylist for the ‘Vibe’ magazine (founded by her father in September 1993). She garnered attention when she dressed Michael Jackson in hip hop clothing for the cover of ‘Vibe’ in 1995.
For three years, she designed a clothing line for famous American rapper, singer-songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, TV personality and actor Snoop Dogg. Around this time, she also modeled for noted fashion magazines, including ‘Harper's Bazaar,’ ‘Vogue,’ and ‘Elle.’ She has also featured in several commercials and advertisements.
Meanwhile, she tried her hands at acting and made her debut with science fiction teen horror film, ‘The Faculty.’ Kidada portrayed the character of Venus in the film, which starred Elijah Wood and Josh Hartnett among others. Although her scenes were shown in TV previews for the film, her role was chopped-off before film’s release on December 25, 1998.
She essayed the role of Jesse in the Robert Downey Jr. starrer film, ‘Black & White.’ It was first shown at the ‘Telluride Film Festival’ on September 4, 1999, and later screened at the ‘Toronto International Film Festival’ on September 15, before its release on April 5, 2000. In 1999, she also played the role of Brandy in the film ‘Thicker Than Water’ that had several rappers and urban entertainers like Big Pun, MC Eiht, Ice Cube, Fat Joe and Mack 10, in starring roles.
She started working with ‘The Walt Disney Company,’ commonly referred as Walt Disney or just Disney in 2005. She designs the line Kidada for Disney Couture and also offers consultation on various Disney projects. According to American fashion magazine ‘W,’ Kidada for Disney Couture is a clothing and jewelry line for adults that are sold at boutiques. The magazine mentioned that Kidada acts "as a conduit to hip tastemakers the brand might otherwise miss”.
She penned down a book on empowerment of young girls titled ‘School of Awake.’ It was published by her in 2017. On October 22, 2017, she featured in additional segment of the Oprah Winfrey hosted American daytime self-help talk show, ‘Super Soul Sunday,’ that airs on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
From 1992 to 1994, she dated American hip hop recording artist, record producer, actor, entrepreneur and author LL Cool J. Talking about his breakup with Kidada, LL Cool J mentioned in his 1998 autobiography, ‘I Make My Own Rules,’ that due to Kidada’s spiritual belief, he ended the relationship with her. He mentioned that Kidada would visit an ashram, seek consultation of a guru and offer prayer to statues.
For several months, Kidada had a live-in-relationship with noted American rapper and actor Tupac Shakur, regarded by many as one of the greatest hip hop artists ever. She first met him in a club and started dating him in 1995. It was rumoured that Kidada was engaged to Shakur, but no engagement ring was ever spotted on her ring finger during such tenure.
On September 7, 1996, while she was waiting for Shakur in their Las Vegas hotel room, the rapper/actor was shot four times in a drive-by shooting by an unknown assailant. After getting the intimation, she rushed to the hospital and remained by his side till Shakur died battling the injuries for six days. Kidada reportedly tattooed his face on her arm. Recalling Shakur’s murder, she said that it is the most horrible thing that she faced ever in her life. Annie Ilonzeh portrayed the role of Kidada in the 2017 biographical drama film, ‘All Eyez on Me.’
Kidada also had a brief affair with American actor and film producer Leonardo DiCaprio in 1999.
From 2003 to sometime in 2006, she was married to actor and writer Jeffrey Nash.