There isn’t a more unexpected celebrity couple in history than visionary musician Grimes and Tesla founder Elon Musk, one of the wealthiest people in the world. And part of the fun of observing their love story is figuring out whether they’re actually together or not at any given moment. Grimes and Musk shocked the world by making their public debut as a couple at the 2018 Met Gala. The pair have since welcomed two children together, son X Æ A-12 Musk (or simply just “X”) in May 2020 and daughter Exa Dark Sideræl Musk (aka “Y”) in December 2021.
When asked about their relationship status, Grimes told Vanity Fair in a March 2022 cover story that there’s no real word for it.” She added: “I would probably refer to him as my boyfriend, but we’re very fluid. We live in separate houses. We’re best friends. We see each other all the time. We just have our own thing going on, and I don’t expect other people to understand it. … This is the best it’s ever been. … We just need to be free.” But after the article published on March 10, she tweeted, “Me and E have broken up again since the writing of this article haha.”
On March 11, after Grimes tweeted the breakup clarification, Page Six reported that Grimes is now dating “infamous leaker” Chelsea Manning. Observers of both celebs have noticed that the pair have been friendly on Twitter in the past few months. Manning is a former U.S. solider, activist, and whistleblower who famously leaked secret military documents to WikiLeaks in 2010. Manning served seven years in prison before being released in 2017.
To get to this point, Grimes and Musk bonded online in 2018 over jokes about artificial intelligence, some of which she incorporated into her music, unbeknownst to most fans — except Musk. Their shared interests in space and technology make them the perfect odd couple, but their romance seems to switch on and off more than a light switch. Grimes and Musk’s relationship timeline could easily be its own sci-fi epic, preferably with special guest star Azealia Banks.
March 2018: Elon Becomes A Grimes Fan
Before they even started dating, Musk became a fan of Grimes’ work. On March 31, 2018, he tweeted out a link to the music video for her 2015 Art Angels single “Venus Fly,” a collaboration with Janelle Monaé, calling it the “best music video art I’ve seen in a while.” The artist didn’t publicly respond to his praise, but it surely didn’t hurt when they eventually started talking.
April 2018: Grimes & Elon Meet On Twitter
At the end of April, Page Six reported that Musk and Grimes formally met on Twitter earlier that month and were now casually dating. The pair reportedly bonded over “Roko’s Basilisk,” which basically has to do with artificial intelligence. “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,” a source told the outlet. “Grimes said this was the first time in three years that anyone understood the joke. They were both poking fun at AI.”
May 2018: Their Met Gala Debut
In May 2018, Grimes and Musk shocked the world by confirming their romance on one of the most glamorous public platforms: the Met Gala. They walked the red carpet together in custom-made looks designed by themselves, including the musician’s Tesla choker, a bold way to make a relationship statement. The couple also went to Rihanna’s Met Gala afterparty, because where else do you celebrate new love? This marks the only public appearance that Grimes and Musk made together thus far, and honestly, how do you top it?
January 2019: Grimes Opens Up
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Grimes spoke about her relationship with Musk for the first time, admitting that she wasn’t prepared for the intense public scrutiny that came along with it. “I just thought I could keep going along in my funny little way, and then you casually respond to someone in a tweet and it’s on Fox News, and you’re like, ‘Ugh,’ you know?” she said. “That was a very disturbing moment.”
January 2020: Grimes Is Pregnant
After more than a year and a half of dating, Grimes announced that she and Musk were expecting their first child together on Jan. 8, 2020. She announced the big news in the most Grimes way possible, posting a topless selfie on Instagram with an imprint of her sonogram photoshopped onto her baby bump. Shortly after, Instagram took the post down, causing her to repost an edited photo with her braids covering the nudity. “Censored for insta haha – almost got away w it,” she said.
May 2020: X Æ A-12 Musk Is Born
On May 4, the couple welcomed their firstborn into the world, and Musk made the announcement by tweeting his name: X Æ A-12 Musk. Yes, that’s his actual name, although because the state of California doesn’t allow numbers in birth names, they later had to change it legally to X Æ A-XII Musk, simply replacing the 12 with its Roman numerals. Later that day, Musk also shared the first photo of the baby, his face photoshopped with face tattoos for no apparent reason.
July 2020: Twitter Divides Grimes & Elon
Musk always finds himself in deep water on Twitter, but once, even Grimes had to step in. After he tweeted “Pronouns suck” on July 24, the musician replied to him in a now-deleted tweet. “I love you but please turn off ur phone or give me a [c]all,” she wrote. “I cannot support hate. Please stop this. I know this isn’t your heart.” They later unfollowed each other on Twitter.
The next day, The New York Times published an interview with Musk, where he makes it clear that they were happy together — even though she was doing most of the caretaking duties for baby X. “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.”
May 2021: Grimes & Elon Take On SNL
Musk hosted the May 8 episode of Saturday Night Live with musical guest Miley Cyrus, and Grimes was not only at Studio 8H to support her beau, but she also appeared in a sketch as Princess Peach opposite Musk’s Wario, who was on trial for killing Mario. Taking to Twitter after the show, Musk revealed that the Nintendo-themed sketch was his favorite.
September 2021: Elon & Grimes Split
After rumors of their split were reported, Musk told Page Six that he and Grimes were “semi-separated” on Sept. 24 after more than three years of dating. However, he clarified that they “still love each other, see each other frequently, and are on great terms,” especially when it comes to co-parenting. “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 L.A.,” he explained. “She’s staying with me now and Baby X is in the adjacent room.”
December 2021: A Secret Baby No. 2
Without anyone knowing, Grimes and Musk welcomed their second child, Exa Dark Sideræl Musk, in December 2021 via surrogate, meaning they were able to keep her birth under wraps thanks to a lack of pregnancy photos. Vanity Fair broke the news in a cover story published on March 10, 2022, revealing that Grimes had no intention to reveal Y to the world, and she would have been a secret to this day if she hadn’t started crying during the in-person interview at her otherwise empty house. “She’s a little colicky too,” Grimes said, reportedly laughing. “I don’t know what I was thinking.”
After the baby made herself known, Grimes opened up about her relationship with Musk, saying they had reconciled and she relocated to Austin to co-parent with Musk, without putting a label on it. “There’s no real word for it,” she explained. “I would probably refer to him as my boyfriend, but we’re very fluid. We live in separate houses. We’re best friends. We see each other all the time. We just have our own thing going on, and I don’t expect other people to understand it. … This is the best it’s ever been. … We just need to be free.”
March 2022: Grimes & Elon Split — Again!
On March 10, after Vanity Fair’s cover story was released, Grimes took to Twitter to clarify a few things, including her current relationship status with Musk. “Me and E have broken up again since the writing of this article haha, but he’s my best friend and the love of my life, and my life and art are forever dedicated to The Mission now,” she wrote. In case you’re confused, she explained in a follow-up tweet that “the mission” is “sustainable energy, making humanity a multiplanetary species and the preservation of consciousness.”
On March 11, after Grimes tweeted the breakup clarification, Page Six reported that Grimes is now dating “infamous leaker” Chelsea Manning.
Some fans of Grimes have noticed the pair interacting on Twitter for months now.
This article was originally published on