Jamaican-born Grace Jones began her modeling career when she was just 13 years old and became a full-fledged star in the ’70s as she made her name in music as well. The striking celebrity, now 73, was a visible part of New York’s raucous Studio 54 nightclub scene, hobnobbing with a who’s who of famous actors, musicians, and models. In addition to releasing famous pop songs like “Nightclubbing” and “Slave to the Rhythm,” Jones acted in several films, from B movies to the Bond flick, A View to a Kill, as villain May Day. But while you may be familiar with her work—and her unique personal style—you may not know that Jones has a 42-year-old son named Paulo Goude who’s following in her modeling and music footsteps. Read on to find out more about Jones’ only child.
Jones had a creative and romantic relationship with French director, graphic designer, and photographer, Jean-Paul Goude. They met in the late ’70s at Studio 54 and began working together. Goude did everything from directing Jones’ music videos to helping her define her public image, and she, in turn, appeared in his work as well. They welcomed Paulo together in 1979. And though they split up in the ’80s, Goude and Jones have remained on friendly terms.
Their son was born at the height of the disco craze, and in her 2016 memoir, I’ll Never Write My Memoirs, Jones describes having a baby shower at the Manhattan nightclub, Garage, in an excerpt published by Harper’s Bazaar.
“Debbie Harry of Blondie and Andy Warhol threw it for me. That’s showing you normal,” she wrote. “The papers called it the first disco baby shower, and Paulo was being talked about as ‘the first disco baby.'”
Paulo grew up surrounded by Jones’ famous friends, including the artist Keith Haring, with whom she said he had a special relationship.
As a child, Paulo grew up mostly in New York City and Paris, speaking both French and English. He spent his last two years of high school in the U.K. All the while, he was interested in music, learning piano, and composing digitally. After graduation, he joined his mother back in New York, where he began to pursue modeling and music professionally. He booked some modeling jobs right away, including runway shows, but the gigs started to dry up after the Sept. 11 attacks.
“But then, there was 9/11, and after that, there was, like, nothing. Nothing! All these contacts I made were, like, all of a sudden had never existed. The country changed overnight,” he said in a 2009 interview on a Grace Jones website.
In more recent years, Paulo has returned to modeling and often shares photos from shoots to his Instagram.
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In the late 2000s, when his modeling career had stalled, Paulo co-founded a musical trio called Trybez, which describes itself as “an international hip hop, soul” group and a “Latino group incorporating three artists, each with distinctive cultures and talents.”
Trybez opened for Paulo’s mother on her Hurricane tour in 2008 and 2009.
“When I thank my mom on stage, I mean it sincerely—I’m her biggest fan, and she was my first fan. So, of course, I want to thank her,” Paulo said in his 2009 interview. “She’s the reason I’m alive, and I wouldn’t appreciate music so much when she hadn’t taken me on tour as a baby, just like I’m taking her granddaughter on tour now.”
Paulo and bandmate Azella Amigues have a daughter named Athena. During a 2017 interview with The Guardian to promote her documentary, Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami, Jones spoke about being a grandmother.
“It’s the best. Her name is Athena, she’s eight, and she’s so gifted,” Jones said of her now-12-year-old granddaughter. “She plays classical piano without looking at the keys, she’s an amazing dancer, and she paints and sings. I love combing her hair. She has the kind of hair where, if you put it in a braid and leave it for two days, it starts dreading like a Rasta, so I comb it with the Tangle Teezer.”