She married a French musician named Pascal Nabet-Meyer in 1986. There was a language barrier: she couldn't speak much French, and he spoke little English. In 1988, Jones had her only child, Charlotte. She and Nabet-Meyer split in 1990, and Jones raised her daughter as a single mom.
Her paternal grandfather was a popular vaudeville performer known as Peg Leg Jones, as he had a wooden leg. Part of his act was dancing on his peg leg.
She had a high-profile romance with Tom Waits in the late '70s that couldn't withstand her drug abuse and sudden rise to stardom. Waits married the film script supervisor Kathleen Brennan just a year after breaking up with Jones. In the '90s, Jones came to a Tom Waits show at the Troubadour in Los Angeles and tried to see him backstage, but was turned away by Brennan.
As a teenager, she almost gave up on her dream of pursuing music. She was going to attend school to become a stenographer, but her mom talked her out of it.
She battled drug abuse, mostly heroin and cocaine, for much of the '80s. This feels the challenges she went through helped make her stronger. "While I was breaking, I was also being restored," she said.
After she broke up with Tom Waits, the director Francis Ford Coppola asked them to work together on the soundtrack of his film One From The Heart, figuring their tension would suit the movie, which deals with a couple that has broken up. Jones refused, and Waits did the soundtrack on his own. While working on the film, he met Kathleen Brennan, who he married a few months later.
She won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist. At the 1980 ceremony, she was high on drugs and beginning to suffer the trappings of fame, something that haunted her for much of her career.
She issued a very political album in 2003 called The Evening Of My Best Day
where she took aim at President George W. Bush on tracks like "Ugly Man
" and "Tell Somebody (Repeal The Patriot Act)." When Donald Trump was elected president, she teamed up with Madeleine Peyroux on a cover of "Rock On
" with a video
contrasting Trump's isolationist message with John F. Kennedy's global outreach.
She shared her opinion on social media in a 2017 Songfacts interview
: "Well I hate it. It's addicting, and its anonymity provides an opportunity for the worst. Also it's not everybody business."
After years living in Los Angeles, she moved to New Orleans in 2013. The move was prompted by a loneliness she felt - when she tried to connect with friends in the area, she found it difficult, as was the nature of a city where people spend a lot of time alone in their cars. In New Orleans, she found there was a lot going in within walking distance.