Elon Musk and Grimes (née Claire Elise Boucher) surprised the world with their unlikely union in May 2018. As it turns out, however, the billionaire business mogul behind such ventures as PayPal (Elon formerly served as CEO of the company), Tesla, SpaceX, and the “Oblivion” singer have much more in common than one might think. They officially became an item after bonding over AI intelligence on Twitter and welcomed their first child together in May 2020. Non-traditional though they may be—both have expressed interest in living on Mars, a lofty concept Elon is currently exploring through SpaceX—their unique outlook on the world seems to mesh. As the entrepreneur told the New York Times of their love in July 2020, “We’ve had this debate of ‘Are you more crazy than me or am I more crazy than you?’”
Read on to learn everything you need to know about their out-of-this-world relationship.
- Elon initially slid into Grimes’s DMs to point out their shared sense of humor.
- The couple shares a baby boy named X Æ A-Xii, whom they call “X” for short.
- Elon was married three times before taking up with the singer—twice to actress Talulah Riley in 2010 and 2013.
- The pair is favored to become the first couple to ever wed in space.
April 2018: A Truly Modern Romance
The SpaceX lead designer and the songwriter had a modern-day meet-cute after Elon slid into Grimes’ DMs to point out their shared—and very specific—sense of humor. While contemplating a play on words about Roko’s Basilisk—a “thought experiment” involving AIs who set out to destroy those who did not help to bring them into existence—and rococo, a style of opulent decoration popular in 18th century Europe, the inventor discovered that his paramour was already in on the joke. In fact, she had referenced it years prior with a character named Rococo Basilisk in the video for her song “Flesh Without Blood,” reportedly telling Fuse, “I don’t know if you’ve heard of Roko’s Basilisk. “[This character] is doomed to be eternally tortured by an artificial intelligence, but she’s also kind of like Marie Antoinette.”
“Elon was researching the idea of joking about Rococo Basilisk, and when he saw Grimes had already joked about it, he reached out to her,” an insider told Page Six of their first exchange. “Grimes said this was the first time in three years that anyone understood the joke. They were both poking fun at AI.”
May 7, 2018: A Grand Debut
Page Six broke the news that the couple was officially an item just hours ahead of their red carpet debut, which, incidentally, would come at one of the biggest events of the year—the 2018 Met Gala.
Adhering to the evening’s theme of “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” the couple coordinated their looks together with a “trusted team.” Grimes wore a headpiece of Vantablack—“the world’s darkest material”—and a corset that was hand-painted to match the color of bone. The space enthusiast, meanwhile, wore a tux jacket that he described to The New York Times as being “sort of like an inverted priest jacket” that featured the words, “Novus ordo seclorum,” which has been roughly translated to “New secular order.”
August 2018: Navigating Choppy Waters
Despite their fateful meeting, the pair, like any couple, have faced their share of ups and downs. In August 2018, they went so far as to unfollow each other on social media. Though they eventually re-followed each other, they would go on repeat this pattern multiple times over the course of their relationship.
March 20 2019: Mutual Adoration
By March 2019, the couple was better than ever. The Canadian songstress couldn’t help but gush over her partner when asked about him in a piece for The Wall Street Journal in March 2019. “He’s a super-interesting goddamn person,” she told the publication, adding, “ I love him … he’s great.”
Elon was equally complimentary, telling the paper via email, “I love c’s wild fae artistic creativity and hyperintense work ethic.”
Dec 10, 2019: Support System
Grimes took the stage at the 2019 Game Awards on December 10 to perform “4ÆM” and debut of a video she created for Cyberpunk 2077 (a video game in which she voices the character of Lizzy Wizzy). Spotted in the crowd cheering her on? None other than Elon himself.
December 24, 2019: A Hollywood Holiday
The twosome was in good company a few weeks later on Christmas Eve, cozying up together alongside Kim Kardashian and then-husband Kanye West, plus musicians Travis Scott, Saweetie, and Quavo.
January 8, 2020: Surprise!
Grimes was showing off a whole lot more than new music the following month, taking to Instagram to reveal her growing belly in a now-deleted photo that served to announce her pregnancy. “Being knocked up is a very feral & war-like state of being. Might as well be what it is,” she captioned the pic.
March 5, 2020: Making Changes
The following month, the musician acknowledged that her whole world was about to change as a first-time mother to Rolling Stone, calling her decision “profound.” "For a girl, it’s sacrificing your body and your freedom," she said. "It’s a pretty crazy sacrifice and only half of the population has to do it… I have sacrificed my power at this moment," she said. "And I have spent my whole life avoiding that situation. I have never capitulated to anything, so it was just a profound commitment." As for her reasoning, it all came down to love. "I do actually just really love my boyfriend,” she said. “So I was like, ‘You know, sure.'"
May 4, 2020: A New Addition
In May 2020, the couple welcomed their bundle of joy, with Elon announcing the news himself on Twitter. “Mom and baby, all good,” he shared. He also indulged inquiring minds wanting to know about the child, tweeting simply, “Boy.”
May 5, 2020: Proud Papa
Just one day after his son's birth, Elon introduced the world to X Æ A-12 via Twitter when he shared a photo. In the pic, the engineer can be seen lovingly gazing at the newest member of his family, who is cradled in the nook of his arm and swathed in a white, blue, and pink hospital blanket.
July 25, 2020: A Unique Bond
In an interview with New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, the former PayPal head honcho shed some light on his bond with Grimes. “She’s pretty special, that’s for sure,” he said. “She’s one of the most unusual people I’ve ever met.”
May 2020: The Name Game
The Tesla co-founder caused quite a stir after announcing the unusual name the couple had chosen for their newborn, “X Æ A-12 Musk”—“X” for short—in early May. A few weeks later, however, they changed the moniker in a move that many speculated was because of California regulations, which don't allow for any symbols other than the 26 letters of the alphabet on birth certificates. According to CNN, Grimes broke down the title in an Instagram comment, listing X as the unknown variable, Æ, which is the Elven spelling of AI and stands for artificial intelligence (it also means “love” in several languages), and A-12 (the latter now in Roman numeral form), which was a precursor to the SR-17—the duo’s favorite spacecraft.
August 2020: Best-Laid Plans
Elon opened up about becoming a father six times over (the investor also shares five children, a set of triples, and twins, with ex-wife Justine Musk) to The New York Times in August 2020. “Well, babies are just eating and pooping machines, you know?" he said. "Right now, there’s not much I can do. Grimes has a much bigger role than me right now. When the kid gets older, there will be more of a role for me.”
As for what that role will look like, Elon seemed to have it all mapped out. “If I have a trip for Tesla to China, for example, I’ll bring the kids with me, and we’ll go see the Great Wall, or we took the bullet train from Beijing to Xian and saw the Terracotta Warriors,” he shared.
April 2021: Extraterrestrial wedding?
While c and E have yet to tie the knot, the world’s money is on the couple to do so in a way that’s never been done before—outside of Earth’s atmosphere. After Grimes posted on Instagram that she was “ready to die with the red dirt of Mars beneath [her] feet,” the U.K’s Express reported that odds were 50:1 at online betting site Paddy Power that the duo would eventually say their “I dos” on the red planet, becoming the first couple to marry in outer space.
May 9 2021: Sharing the Limelight
Not only did Elon reference his growing family in his monologue for Saturday Night with a cheeky pun about his child’s title (“SNL is also a great way to learn something new about the host. For example, this is my son’s name. It’s pronounced, ‘cat running across the keyboard”), he and Grimes shared the screen for a skit in which the business mogul played misunderstood Mario villain Wario and accused his significant other’s character, Princess Peach, of stepping out on Mario with his brother Luigi.
Claire expressed her adoration for her partner after the fact on Instagram, writing, "So proud of my beautiful E ... he killed it."
September 24, 2021
After three years together, Grimes and Elon called it quits. The Tesla founder broke the news to Page Six, saying the two were semi-separated.
“We are semi-separated but still love each other, see each other frequently and are on great terms,” he said before adding that the reason for their split is due to their busy schedules and travel.
“It’s mostly that my work at SpaceX and Tesla requires me to be primarily in Texas or traveling overseas and her work is primarily in LA," he continued. "She’s staying with me now and Baby X is in the adjacent room.”