The most important and forward-looking musician of her generation is Björk. The music star who is often considered a restlessly experimental creative force is an Icelandic singer, songwriter, producer, and actress. She is best known for her works which cut across a wide variety of music styles.
Musically, she explores the relationship between nature and technology and integrates electronic and organic sounds. She is widely acclaimed for songs like I’ve Seen It All, Human Behaviour, and Big Time Sensuality. Covered herein are all you need to know about her.
Björk Biography, Wiki
The Human Behaviour singer was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, on November 21, 1965, and given the birth name, Björk Guðmundsdóttir. Her first name is a common name for females in Iceland and means birch while her other name is patronymic. She has a mixture of Irish and Norse ancestry.
She was born to her mother, Hildur Runa Hauksdottir, who was an activist, and her father, Guomundur Gunnarsson was a union leader and electrician. Her mother protested against a hydroelectric development in Iceland. She did not want to be a housewife and left the marriage with her daughter to become part of a hippie group.
Hilduh remarried a guitarist, Sævar Árnason, in a band called Pops who was considered at the time the Jimi Hendrix of Iceland. This second union provided a musical platform for the would-be singer.
Björk studied classical music with piano in elementary school from the age of 11. Subsequently, she started recording and had some of her songs aired on the radio. Shortly after, she compiled traditional Icelandic folk songs, which would become her first album, Björk. The album was released in 1997 and she got a contract with the Franklin record label.
She was a member of various band groups throughout her teenage years. Some of these groups include Spit and Snot (an all-girl band), Jam-80 later changed to Tappi Tikarrass (formed in 1981), Exodus (a jazz fusion group formed in 1979), and KUKL (a gothic rock band) which she joined at the age of 18.
Björk would form the pop band Sugarcubes in 1986 with other KUKL members including Einar Örn, Siggi Baldursson, and Einar Melax. The group was joined by Magga Örnólfsdóttir, Bragi Ólafsson, and guitarist Thór Eldon (who later became her first husband).
The band came out with their first hit single Birthday. They got a contract with the record label, One Little Indian as a result of that one song. Their second song, Life’s Too Good (1988) got them a cult following both in the US and the Uk. The band released their album, It’s It in 1992 prior to their split.
Solo Career, Acting Career
After being part of a band for many years, Björk relocated to London where she set off on her solo career following the split of Sugarcubes in 1993. She collaborated with producer, Nellee Hooper to produce her hit single, Human Behaviour. The music video was directed by Michel Gondry and publicized on MTV.
She released Debut, her second album since Bjork in 1993 which met with a huge success selling close to 3 million copies. The next album, Post, came in 1997 becoming more successful considering the number of sales.
She has really had a successful solo career and has released 8 studio albums which include Homogenic (1997), Vespertine (2001), Medúlla (2004), Volta (2007), and Biophilia (2011), Vulnicura (2015), Utopia (2017). Biophilia was released as a series of apps following a collaboration with Apple ad, making it the first app album in the world.
Björk had a stint in acting when she appeared in the critically acclaimed film Dancer in the Dark (2000), which she also scored. The film which was directed by the Danish director, Lars von Trier got her the prize for best actress at the Cannes Film Festival and a Golden Globe nomination for her performance.
She has collaborated with a wide range of artists and explored a variety of multimedia projects. Each of her albums has featured established artists who are all innovative in their own rights. Some of them include techno gurus Graham Massey, Howie B, Tricky, Madonna, Plaid, Matmos, DJ Thomas Knak, Zeena Parkins, Timbaland, Antony Hegarty, Sjon, Mark Bell, Min Xiaofen amongst others.
Björk collaborated with David Attenborough in 2013 for his documentary called ‘When Björk Met Attenborough’. The documentary featured musicians from around the world, showcasing their take on the music.
Awards and Accolades
The pop star has received 14 Grammys nominations, one Golden Globe Award, and two Academy Awards. She has received quite a handful among which are:
- An Oscar for the Best Song category for the title song of the film Selmasongs, I’ve Seen It All.
- A Grammy Award in 2013 for Best Recording Package.
- Five Brit Awards including the 1994 Award for International Breakthrough Act, 2016 Award for International Female Solo Artist.
- Four MTV Video Music Awards
- One Mojo Awards
- 21 Icelandic Music Awards
- Three Uk Music Awards
- The 2010 Polar Music Prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in recognition of her deeply personal music and lyrics, her precise arrangements, and her unique voice.
Björk was included in 2015 Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world. A full-scale retrospective exhibition dedicated to her was held the same year at the Museum of Modern Art.
Björk Husband, Son, Daughter
During her time in Sugarcubes, she got married to fellow band member, Thor Eldon, on June 8, 1986. They had a son Síndri Eldon Thórsson but divorced shortly after, in 1987. Sindri is a Journalist by profession and has a solo project called ‘Sindri Eldon’
Björk was romantically involved with several other members of the music industry, including U.K. artists Goldie and Tricky (of Massive Attack). In 2000, she met Matthew Barney, an American artist in New York while promoting Dancer in the Dark. They hit it off after then and got married shortly after.
The couple had their daughter, Isadora Bjarkardottir Barney, on October 3, 2002. The marriage, however, hit the rocks in September 2013.
She currently has an estimated net worth of $45 million.
Name: Björk Guðmundsdóttir (Björk).
Birthday: November 21, 1965
Place of Birth: Reykjavik, Iceland
Parents: Hildur Runa Hauksdottir (mother), Guomundur Gunnarsson (father).
Occupation: singer, songwriter, music producer, and occasional actress.
Spouse: Thor Eldon (1986-1987). Matthew Barney(2000-2013)
Children: Síndri Eldon Thórsson (son), Isadora Bjarkardottir Barney (daughter)
Ethnicity: Mixture of Irish and Norse.
Albums: Nine studio albums
Height: 5 ft 4 in (163 cm).
Weight: 122 lbs (55 kg)
Net Worth: $45 million