The Untold Truth Of Grimes

If you're unfamiliar with Grimes, then buckle up because getting to know the quirky musician is a wild ride. The Candian singer (real name Claire Boucher) is also a songwriter and a record producer, with her music incorporating different genres and techniques. An artist known for her outlandish style and "[a]lien, introvert, supervillain" persona, she's managed to stir up plenty of buzz over the years thanks to her unusual ways. In fact, while her public brand may come off as odd, she told The Guardian in 2015, "In my life, I'm a lot more weird than this."

Frankly, there's a good chance that you heard about the fact that in May 2020, she had a baby with her boyfriend, SpaceX co-founder and Tesla CEO Elon Musk. You also likely read about the fact that the parents named the child X Æ A-12 (whether or not that's even legal). Beyond that, fans could tell you that she's been involved in a "sad and dark" feud with rapper Azealia Banks and called her popular Art Angels album a "piece of crap" as well as a "stain on [her] life" (via Cultured). Eek!

However, there are plenty of things that you likely didn't know about the entertainingly enigmatic star — and that may include these tidbits of intriguing info that make Grimes seem even more predictably unpredictable than she already appeared to be.

Grimes' youth included being put in a shipping container

Born in Vancouver, Canada in 1988, Claire Boucher, who later became Grimes, was raised by her mother, "a former crown prosecutor and arts advocate and her father, a former banker, [who] works 'in the business side of biotech,'" according to the Independent. She also has two brothers and two stepbrothers, who motivated her to be a competitive child. "I remember getting really good at this Pokémon video game because it was this ego sh*t that I had to defeat them," she told Rolling Stone. "I did track and field because I needed to be faster at running than my f***ing brothers."

While Grimes' relationship with her siblings obviously had an impact on her, she also had an undeniably memorable grandfather. The star explained that while visiting her grandpa during college, he wanted to keep her safe from the "vagrants" he hired to work on his property, so he "locked [her] in a shipping container with a pistol." To be fair, her brother says that "it was a shed, not a shipping container, but otherwise confirms the story."

Grimes' youth also included Catholic school, where she was bullied, perhaps because she went through "a Wiccan phase" in seventh grade, according to The Fader. However, she says that she stopped doing witchcraft after casting a spell that resulted in a "rosary crumbled in [her] hands," which she (understandably) found "really scary."

Claire Boucher changed her name for a bizarre reason

A rose by any other name may be just as sweet, according to ol' William Shakespeare, however, Claire Elise Boucher is apparently more comfortable with a moniker that she feels suits her. While she's known professionally as Grimes, in May 2018, she took to Twitter to announce that she had decided to change her name to c ("lowercase and italicized"). "As in the [symbol for the] speed of light," she explained while also sharing a helpful screenshot of Wikipedia's somewhat complicated entry regarding the "universal physical constant."

"According to Grimes ... [Elon] Musk encouraged the change," The Verge pointed out. "But as Grimes noted on Twitter, she had considered her given name Claire 'the bane of [her] existence since [she] became sentient,' in part because of a speech impediment, and had long wanted to change it."

When Grimes decided that the time had come to finally change her personally bothersome (and surely way too normal) moniker, she pointed out that "'C' was already her nickname among friends, ... and Musk simply pointed out that she need look no further for a new appellation." Frankly, while others suit sweet, silly, and saucy nicknames, it makes sense that Grimes would opt for a nickname-turned-legal-name that's super scientific, wildly unusual, and perfectly on-brand.

A vegetarian diet never sounded so strange

Like many other meat-abstaining famous folks, Grimes is a vegetarian and has been for years. "My stepdad is Hindu and never had meat, so it was very easy for me growing up; there would always be vegan food around," she told Teen Vogue in 2016. "It is political for me, but also, to be honest, I have no idea how to cook meat."

However, sticking to a veggie-based menu doesn't necessarily mean that Grimes eats a healthy diet. The singer talked to Harper's Bazaar in March 2020 about what she was eating during her pregnancy and revealed that she hates fruit and "vile" vegetables. Instead, her typical menu includes "caffeinated cubes" ("I usually just eat one of those and go back to sleep, and then slowly the caffeine enters my system, and then I wake up"), "butter toast" ("I melt a stick of butter on a plate, and then I put toast in it ... completely saturated in butter, then, I put a little bit of jam on it and eat that — it's actually incredible"), and "sludge." Yes, sludge.

Grimes explained how to make the latter, saying, "You take couscous ... [and] you take, like, a ton of Vegenaise and you take a ton of Sriracha," before adding in chopped veggies, and you "throw it all in and you just make this sludge, this couscous sludge that's, like, spicy... It's weirdly good," but also "kinda gross." Um, yeah.

Grimes doesn't care about gender

Grimes has an interesting relationship with gender. "I was raised in a house with four brothers ... I wasn't raised as a boy, but I was not just raised as a girl. I don't wanna say I don't identify as a girl, but I don't f***ing give a sh*t about gender," she told The Fader. "The thing that I hate about the music industry is all of a sudden it's like, 'Grimes is a female musician' and 'Grimes has a girly voice.' It's like, yeah, but I'm a producer and I spend all day looking at f***ing graphs and EQs and doing really technical work."

This attitude is perhaps why Grimes intends to embrace gender-neutral parenting (much like fellow celeb, Pink) when it comes to raising her baby. "I don't want to gender them in case that's not how they feel in their life," she explained in a YouTube Livestream (via Reuters). Insider notes that "[g]ender-neutral parenting, or a raising a child without assigning them specific 'boy' or 'girl' labels, clothes, toys, or other gendered cues, is still a fairly new concept in a world where gender-reveal parties and pink and blue baby clothes abound." However, considering, in this case, we're talking about a baby whose parents are Grimes and Elon Musk, no one should be shocked that they're utilizing the most modern techniques when it comes to being parents since it seems to be the way they approach many aspects of their lives.

It's the nocturnal life for Grimes

Grimes has always been a night person, which means that she "has trouble getting anything done before dinnertime," and "would prefer to go to sleep as late as 9 a.m. and wake up at 5 p.m.," according to Rolling Stone.

The star realizes that her nocturnal leanings aren't typical (and might even be harmful to your health) — which is likely why she says that she "tried to sleep at a reasonable time" when she "first got pregnant," but "it actually made [her] feel really bad." Interestingly enough, she also told Rolling Stone in March 2020 while pregnant with her first child: "I think my kid will be nocturnal." She further explained, "Currently it is! It doesn't move during the day, only at night."

When contemplating that her child may force her to swap her nighttime-loving schedule for the kind of daytime living that she apparently finds stifling to her creative output, she seemed uncharacteristically resigned. "We'll see," she said, before laughing while adding, "I might be about to ruin my life and career!" Let's hope for her sake, her child's sake, and her fans' sake that her career survives parenthood.

Grimes wanted to be a Russian-speaking astrophysicist

Many people begin to pursue one path before realizing that they're meant to do something else, which is something that can be said of Grimes. When the star went to Montreal's McGill University in 2006, she thought "she was going to be an astrophysicist," The Fader explains. Her seemingly daunting studies included "a double major in philosophy and 'the science side of psychology,' with minors in Russian language and a field called electro-acoustics, a realm of neuroscience concerned with the way the brain processes noise."

"We did, like, psycho-physics and sh*t. I never took calculus, and you [were supposed] to take calculus to get in, so I constantly had to be teaching myself calculus behind the class," Grimes later recalled. "I mostly just tried to prove that I could."

However, it turned out that "science's allure wasn't strong enough to keep her on track for a career in brain research," which is why she left school behind "after the summer of her junior year" following what she told The Independent was a "breakdown" (and "a lot of drug-taking"). While she ditched her scientific studies, these days, it seems as if "her attraction to mathematical problem-solving ... foreshadow[ed] her present-day preoccupation with the technical aspects of music production." So, maybe her brief post-secondary experience wasn't a complete waste of time, after all.

She lived on a houseboat 'with a few chickens'

When university didn't work out for Grimes, it would have been understandable if she had attempted to pursue a path that involved a career that was somewhat simple and stable. However, she instead "ended up on a houseboat on the Mississippi with a few chickens and a lot of potatoes," according to The Independent. Unfortunately, Grimes had to give her fowl friends away "because it's not nice to bring chickens on a boat," she told The Fader while also revealing that she "had some ducks, but they escaped," and "lots of sacks of potatoes," but claims "that's not that weird" (which is debatable).

Noting that while living on the boat, neither she nor her on-board companion were "trying to do Huck Finn" (referring to the classic novel by Mark Twain), any plans they might have had at the time came to an end when the police eventually "caught up with them, and the boat was impounded."

Grimes later chatted about what could seem like a whimsical period by saying that it was likely her way of dealing with her not-so-great life at the time, which had included "'a sh***y job postering in sub-zero weather;' a breakup with [her] longtime boyfriend ...," and "[p]erhaps most painfully of all, she'd experienced the deaths of two friends in the span of one year."

The singer has 'a pretty intense history with ballet'

If you've ever seen one of Grimes' videos — such as "Genesis," "Kill V. Maim," and "Flesh without Blood/Life in the Vivid Dream" — you'll know that she likes to use her body to express herself creatively in the same way that she uses her music, too. One of the reasons she's likely so comfortable with exploring and embracing entertaining movements is due to the fact that she spent "10 years [studying] ballet, reaching a pre-professional stage before shaving her head and realizing she didn't fit in," according to The Independent.

"I think at some point in grade eight, I started smoking pot. I was just listening to System of a Down," she told The Fader. "I would show up to ballet, and all the kids would make fun of me, and no matter where I went everyone thought I was insane, so I was just, like, 'I cannot be here. I have to do something so I cannot be forced to do this anymore.'" What she did was quit.

That unfortunate ending to her dance pursuits is perhaps why ABC News notes that she now looks back at that time and claims that she had "a pretty intense history with ballet."

Grimes is an art-maker, an art-lover, and an art-supporter

Grimes' past as a dancer and current status as a music industry star should mean that it's not surprising to discover that she's also a visual artist who, according to Cosmopolitan, "creates all the art for her albums, illustrates her own merch, and has even had her work shown in galleries!"

Not only has Grimes exhibited her own work, in 2012, she also curated a charity art show at the Audio Visual Arts (AVA) Gallery in Manhattan, which "featured her own paintings and drawings, as well as pieces from her Canadian peers," according to ABC News. Beyond that, the star once ran an Instagram account dedicated to sharing work from her creative admirers. "I will post my own illustrations but prob mostly sick fan art like this," she wrote in a now-edited caption on a post (via i-D) that featured a concert poster by @kumbricwitch. "I'm sad show posters [are] kind of an obsolete medium [with] promotions on the internet these days, but I just love fonts illustrations and music uniting in an image and I love having memories of shows."

As for her own work, Grimes discussed her influences, saying, "I've been really into anime since I was little. ... I became very, very obsessed." She also says that later on, she "got more into Charles Burns and Dan Clowes — other kinds of comics." It's clear that Grimes' artistic preferences are as contemporary as her other interests.

Grimes is Canadian, but bought a home in California

Grimes may have been born in Canada, however, as an adult, she's made her home in the United States. In 2018, the singer "score[d] a discount from the $2 million the property was on the market for" when she picked up a 3,721-square-foot residence in Pasadena, California, according to the Observer.

While the performer likes to embrace an unusual lifestyle, one way that she leads a typical celebrity-like life was by purchasing herself what sounds like an enviable, star-worthy abode. Along with "vaulted ceilings and exposed beams in the living room," which also has "a fireplace and floor-to-ceiling windows," the "kitchen [has] stainless steel appliances, a breakfast nook, and granite countertops." Beyond that, the "two-story pad also contains a dining room, a large foyer, and a library."

When she first moved to California, she told The Fader, "I got to a place where I didn't need to run away from the entertainment industry anymore. I just had to do that to make sure I could get to a place psychologically where I wouldn't go insane." However, as of March 2020, she was living with Elon Musk, in "one of the multiple Los Angeles properties owned by her boyfriend," according to Rolling Stone. While we don't know the exact details about her current residence, we have no doubt it's the kind of place that most people could only dream about calling home.

She worries about 'income inequality'

Grimes is a creative force, an intriguing star, and a rather rich woman who's estimated to have $3 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. While she's obviously doing fine on her own, her fortune is nothing compared to Elon Musk's $36 billion.

Grimes opened up about money in March 2020, revealing that she used to be worried about what Rolling Stone called "income inequality," saying, "It was something I spoke about a lot before dating my boyfriend," she said. However, because she believes Musk isn't just "buying yachts" with his fortune, she apparently finds it easier for her to accept his wealth. "If someone's just gonna take ... all his money [and put it] into making the world better? ... I admire it a lot. I think it's great. To me, it does not contradict my beliefs."

Grimes also noted that she doesn't accept any of Musk's money to fund her work because his fortune is supposedly "devoted to essential projects." As she declared to the outlet, "Grimes is funded by Grimes," adding, "I don't want to divert funds from, like, Tesla to my stupid art project. I can't say the things I say and believe what I believe and then take money from my boyfriend." However, she added, "I mean, I would like child care."

Fame has come with serious dangers for Grimes

While Grimes' success has come along with perks like fame and fortune, there have also been drawbacks, such as a serious danger to her safety. "I get threats constantly — all female musicians do," she told The Fader. "People want to, like, rape and kill you. It's, like, part of the job."

"One time I was backstage at a show, and there was this random guy in my dressing room, and he just grabbed me and started making out with me, and I was like, Ah!, and pushed him off," she recalled one horrifying incident. "Then he went, 'Ha! I kiss-raped you' and left. Sh*t like that happens quasi-frequently." She added that when she plays a show, she has "to have ... three bodyguards in front of the stage," along with "bodyguards on the side."

Frankly, she admitted that while her Grimes persona was meant to "be a thing which was how [she] wished [life] was, ... it's becoming this whole other" daunting reality that she has to deal with. Thankfully, she still has her music as an escape.