Claire Boucher is a Canadian musician, singer-songwriter, record producer, music video director, and visual artist, who goes professionally by the name ‘Grimes.’
Grimes was born as ‘Claire Elise Boucher’ on Thursday, March 17, 1988 (age 34 years; as of 2022), in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
She did her early schooling from a catholic school and completed her schooling in 2006 at Lord Byng Secondary School, Vancouver. She then shifted to Montreal for her higher studies and went to McGill University to pursue her majors in neuroscience and the Russian language. However, before finishing her degree, she dropped out of her college in 2010 to pursue her career in music. The Fader She is self-educated in music and arts. In her childhood, she also took professional ballet lessons.
Hair Color: Brown (dyed her hair multiple times in various colors)
Eye Color: Green (wears lenses of various colors)
Family & Ethnicity
She is of French, Italian, and Ukrainian origin. La Presse She was raised a Roman Catholic, however, growing up, she got over it and announced that she was following agnosticism. The Independent
Parents & Siblings
Her mother, Sandy Garossino, is a former Crown prosecutor and arts advocate, and her father, Maurice Boucher, is a former banker who works on the business side of biotech.
Her stepfather, Ravi Sidhoo, is an Indian and runs West Side’s East India Carpets company, a company that he inherited from his father.
She has three brothers; two of them are Mac Boucher (cinematographer) and Daniel Boucher.
She has a step-brother named Jay Worthy, who is a musician, and her brother from his step father’s first marriage.
Relationships & Children
While pursuing her graduation, she was dating William Gratz. She has also dated the electronic musician James Brooks.
From 2007 to 2010, she was in an on-and-off relationship with the Canadian singer-songwriter and former lead vocalist of the duo ‘Majical Cloudz’ Devon Welsh.
In 2018, she began dating Elon Musk, a technology entrepreneur, industrial designer, and engineer, who she met through Twitter.
On January 8, 2020, Grimes announced on her social media accounts that she and Elon Musk were expecting a child. On May 4, 2020, she gave birth to their son, who was named “X Æ A-12” (pronounced ‘Ex Ash A Twelve’ or ‘Ex Ay Eye’). They faced difficulty in registering the name as Californian law did not allow characters (in a name) that are not used in modern English. Later, the child’s name was changed to “X Æ A-Xii” and finally, they settled with “X AE A-XII;” the letter “X” is his first name, and “AE A-XII” is his middle name.
Grimes and Elon Musk parted ways in September 2021; it was revealed by Elon Musk in an interview that he gave to a media house. In the interview, Elon Musk quoted that Grimes and he were semi-separated. India Today He said,
We are semi-separated but still love each other, see each other frequently and are on great terms.”
Grimes also claimed Go Won, a member of the South Korean girl group ‘Loona,’ to be her son’s godmother.
As a Singer-Songwriter
In 2007, she started writing songs under the name ‘Grimes.’ In 2010, she made her debut with the concept album ‘Geidi Primes,’ inspired by the Dune series and released by Arbutus Records on cassette.
In 2011, she released her first extended play ‘Darkbloom’ together with Canadian musician and singer-songwriter d’Eon.
The same year, her debut album ‘Geidi Primes’ had its release in CD and vinyl format through ‘No Pain in Pop Records.’ In January 2012, she signed with the record label 4AD, following her extensive concerts and positive reception of the first two albums and EP. Her other albums include Halfaxa (2010), Visions (2012), Art Angels (2015), and Miss Anthroposene (2020). In 2012, she released her second EP ‘Ambrosia.’ The year 2014 saw the release of her first non-album single ‘Go’ featuring Blood Diamonds. The track was written for and rejected by Rihanna.
Some of her other non-album singles are We Appreciate Power (2018), Pretty Dark (2019), and Phone Sex (2012). She has collaborated with other artists including Blood Diamonds, Janelle Monáe, Loona yyxy, Bring Me the Horizon, and Ashnikko.
As a Visual Artist & Other Works
Grimes has created the album art for all her albums. She also made album art and art lithos for each track of her studio album ‘Art Angels’ (2015).
The influence of Japanese anime, manga, and comic artists such as Charles Burns and Daniel Clowes, can be seen in her illustrations. Apart from her albums, she also illustrates merchandise, including T-shirts and show posters. In 2013, she illustrated an alternate cover for Image Comics’ “The Wicked + The Divine.”
The same year, she designed a capsule collection of T-shirts for Saint Laurent; the collection consisted of five-piece t-shirts featuring her artwork, which took inspiration from Saint Laurent’s “Love Poster” series from the ’70s.
In 2013, she also administrated a silent auction at the Audio Visual Arts (AVA) Gallery in NYC for the Native Women’s Association of Canada’s campaign to raise awareness of violence against Aboriginal women in Canada.
Awards & Achievements
- Electronic Album of the Year for Visions in 2013
- Breakthrough Artist of the Year in 2013
- Video of the Year for the song “Kill V. Maim” in 2017
- Video of the Year for the song “Venus Fly” (featuring Janelle Monáe) in 2018
- Webby Award for Artist of the Year in 2013
- A2IM Libera Awards for Video of the Year for the song “Kill V. Maim” in 2016
- Harper’s Bazaar Women of the Year Awards – Musician of the Year 2016
- iHeartRadio Much Music Video Award for Best EDM/Dance Video for “Venus Fly” (featuring Janelle Monáe) in 2017
- In 2009, Grimes and her then-boyfriend, William Gratz, designed a houseboat from scratch to sail from the Mississippi River to New Orleans. They had their houseboat filled with chicken and several sacks of potatoes. After covering a short distance, their engine started to splutter and gurgle due to which they had to park their houseboat at a riverbank and tie it to a tree. However, a Minneapolis park police officer warned them as it was not allowed to tie a boat to the trees. After several mishaps and law enforcement encounters, their houseboat was impounded by the city of Minneapolis. Star Tribune According to Grimes, the incident was blown out of proportion and exaggerated by the local media. She said,
We did actually have chickens, but we gave them away because it’s not nice to bring chickens on a boat,” she says. “And then we had some ducks, but they escaped. Ach! I shouldn’t say this. We didn’t have a typewriter, and we weren’t trying to do Huck Finn. The main thing that’s true is the potatoes. We had lots of sacks of potatoes, but that’s not that weird.”
Their adventure has been narrated by musician and singer T Bone Burnett and documented in an animated video.
- Ever since she announced that she was dating Elon Musk, their relationship became a subject of controversy. As her fans accused her of changing herself to the likes of Musk. She also faced backlash for removing ‘anti-imperialist’ from her Twitter bio and renaming herself as ‘c’ as in ‘constant for speed of light,’ for the same reason. The Guardian
- In 2018, American rapper Azealia Banks accused Grimes of allegedly inviting her to talk about their collaboration at Elon’s house but failing to show up. She also alleged that she confronted Grimes comforting Elon for tweeting that ‘he had secured funding to take Tesla private at $420 per share.’ Later, Elon filed a suit against Azealia, according to which, plaintiffs sought subpoenas for Grimes, Banks, and three media outlets (the New York Times, Gizmodo, and Business Insider) who interviewed either Banks or Elon about their dispute. The Guardian
- In early 2019, during the promotion of her single ‘We Appreciate Power,’ which was inspired by North Korea’s all-female military band Moranbong, she was accused of glorifying fascism. The Guardian She had said,
I thought people understood that I ultimately probably believe in an AI dictatorship.” (Maybe it’s understandable that someone who always says the wrong thing might find comfort in absolutism.)”
- In 2020, Elon Musk wrote ‘Pronouns Suck’ in his Twitter account without any additional context and Grimes publicly tweeted back that while she loved him, she cannot support hate. Soon after Grimes posted the tweet, she deleted it. There are speculations that Elon was referring to gender-neutral pronouns. Fox News
- According to her Wikipedia page, she once spoke about her drug use during the creation of ‘Visions’ in 2012, during an interview. She had said,
I blacked out the windows and did tons of amphetamines and stayed up for three weeks and didn’t eat anything”
However, in a Tumblr post, she attributed her Wikipedia page, stating that edits were made to her Wikipedia page that talk about her using amphetamines during the recording of ‘Visions,’ which she claims to be untrue. She added that despite removing the content, the sentences were added back on her page multiple times. Stereogum She said,
losing people to drugs and alcohol is the worst because they destroy any good memories you have of them before forcing you to deal with the empty space they leave behind. also whoever keeps putting the few quotes i said early in my career about drugs back into my wikipedia page is an asshole. I don’t want that to be part of my narrative, and if it has to be I want people to know that i hate hard drugs. All they’ve ever done is kill my friends and cause me to be unproductive. Editing a website that people take seriously and reference all the time so that it looks like i think amphetamines are cool is incredibly irresponsible, people might read that and think its a cool thing to emulate. I hope you know you are doing the world a disservice. I just watched another person I care deeply about basically turn into gollum and my heart is broken.”
- Food: Burrito
- Dessert: Butterscotch Icecream
- Singer(s): Mariah Carey, Dolly Parton, Marilyn Manson, Brandy Norwood, Enya, Björk
- Rapper: G-Dragon (of Big Bang)
- Musician(s): Yoko Kanno, Aphex Twin, Hildegard von Bingen, Burial
- Band(s): Tool, OutKast
- K-pop Band(s): Bing Bang, 2NE1, Girls’ Generation
- Film: The Handmaiden (2016)
- TV Show: Game of Thrones series
- Video Game: Legend of Zelda
- While in elementary school, her grandfather, a French-Canadian, taught Grimes how to shoot a rifle.
- After she moved to Montreal to pursue her graduation, she discovered her love for music. During that time, she met David Peet, a fellow Vancouver transplant, who had opened DIY venue Lab Synthèse with Sebastian Cowan (Grimes’ another friend), and some other friends. Along with the boys, she started doing underground music and performing in shows. In March 2008, David committed suicide, which had a huge impact on her. Before that, David and Grimes had planned to start a band together.
- Grimes’ music is considered an eclectic mix of styles, including electronic music, synth-pop, R&B, dream pop, and hip hop. It has also been described as synth-pop and art-pop. Grimes is a Soprano, a type of classical female singing voice having the highest vocal range of all voice types.
- She is known for having a lisp. According to her, she likes it and has no desire to undergo speech therapy.
- When she made her MySpace (an American social networking site) account as an artist, she chose ‘Grime’ for all the musical genres, because, at that time, MySpace allowed artists to list three musical genres. Therefore, the performer named was chosen to be ‘Grimes.’ According to her, she listed grime for all three, before she knew what grime music was.
- Grimes and Jay Worthy, her brother, have collaborated on the single ‘Christmas Song,’ released on the Rough Trade bonus disc of her album ‘Visions.’
- Grimes has worked with Mac Boucher, her brother, in the making of some of her music videos, which include Violence, Go, Realiti, Flesh Without Blood/Life in the Vivid Dream, Kill V. Maim, Venus Fly, and We Appreciate Power.
- Earlier, Grimes was a vegan and says that it was for ethical reasons. According to her,
My stepdad is Hindu and never had meat, so it was very easy for me growing up; there would always be vegan food around. It is political for me, but also, to be honest, I have no idea how to cook meat. Touring is difficult, but if we’re somewhere and I can only have something with dairy in it, then I will eat it because I won’t starve myself”
- She has once addressed Japan as her ‘spiritual homeland.’ According to her,
I’m just very obsessed with Japanese stuff in general. I think there’s this archetype that exists in Japan that I really identify with, that I don’t think really exists anywhere else – which is the kind of [Hayao] Miyazaki, Nausicaa or Mononoke character. She’s like a young girl who’s very powerful, but is also kind of cute – but it’s not like belittling at all. It’s just not really an archetype that exists in the West, and I love that. You know what I mean, like Chiaki Kuriyama in Kill Bill or something? That kind of character is like my kind of character in reality. I mean, obviously I’m not, like, an assassin, but… I like that, I think that’s really cool.”
- Grimes has many tattoos on her body and all her tattoos are designed by her. Her right leg is covered in tattoos; her left arm has a heart tattoo; on the right side of her abdomen, there are some words inked; a large cross sign is tattooed on her wrist; both of her hands, from front and back, have tattoos all over them.
- In 2018, she announced that her name was legally changed from Claire to ‘c‘ (the symbol for the speed of light). The Verge
- On July 16, 2019, Grimes claimed that she had a part of her eyeball removed in experimental surgery to cure seasonal depression. NME According to her,
I underwent experimental surgery that removes the top film of my eyeball and replaces it with an orange ultra-flex polymer that my friend and I made in the lab this past winter as a means to cure seasonal depression.”
However, according to experts, there is no legitimate eye surgery available to eliminate blue light, nor a reason to eliminate all blue light.
- In an Instagram post, that she posted on March 31, 2021, she expressed her desire to die on the surface of planet Mars.