Björk Gudmundsdottir was born November
21, 1965, in Reykjavik, Iceland. The road to becoming Iceland's most well
known musician does not come without hard work. Young Björk started
her musical training by studying the flute, piano and voice. Björk
was no stranger to rock music; her stepfather was also a member of a rock
band in Iceland.
Before becoming a solo act, Björk
was the vocalist of several bands throughout her career. In 1977, Björk
recorded her first album. Her self-titled debut included a tribute to
Iceland's greatest landscape artist, Johannes S. Kjarval.
Two years later, the eccentric
13-year old became a member of Exodus, and the band made an appearance
on Icelandic television. It was when she formed the band Tappi Tikarass
that Iceland would get to know Björk as the star act. The band's
first album was released in 1981.
Björk's fame in Iceland
was cemented when two of Tappi Tikarass' songs were featured in Rock in
Reykjavik, a documentary on the Icelandic New Wave. When she was invited
along with other members of the New Wave to become a "supergroup"
for a one-time session on radio program, Björk met her future band
mates Einar Orn and Sigtryggur Baldursson. The three formed a new group,
Kukl (Icelandic for "witch"). Björk put all her creative
energy in the new band, and together they released two albums, The Eye
and Holidays in Europe, and went on a European tour before calling it
quits in 1986.
While 1986 marked the end for
Kukl, it marked a new beginning for Björk and her husband, guitarist
Thor Eldon, who saw the birth of their son Sindri. 1986 also saw the birth
of The Sugarcubes, a new band formed by Björk, her husband, and several
Kukl members. In 1987, the success of the band's first single, "Birthday,"
took effect and The Sugarcubes landed a record deal with Elektra. While
their debut album, ‘Life's Too Good’, was a huge critical
success in both Europe and the US; however the band’s second album,
Here Today Tomorrow Next Week, did not do as well. Between the band's
second album and third album, Stick Around For Joy, Björk recorded
Gling Glo. In 1992, the single "Hit," off the album Stick Around
For Joy was a huge success; unfortunately, the Sugarcubes did not stick
around for more joy and broke up that year.
It wasn't difficult for Björk
to pursue a successful solo career, since she was undeniably the star
of the Sugarcubes. On her own after having broken up with her husband,
Björk moved to London with her son in 1993, ready to begin her solo
career. Björk's appropriately titled solo album, Debut, was a huge
commercial hit, and also marked a departure from her post-punk rock scene.
Björk opted to delve into a style that was influenced by the British
dance scene. With the success of the album and the single "Human
Behavior", Björk's success had crossed the Atlantic to the United
States. Two years later, Björk's sophomore solo album, Post, was
released but did not see the same success as Debut. Telegram, which features
remixed or rerecorded versions of Post's tracks, was released in 1997.
In 2000 Björk starred in
the musical drama Dancer in the Dark. Playing a factory worker in the
film, she also wrote and performed the film's score, she released an album,
Selmasongs, that is essentially the film’s soundtrack. Björk
took home the Best Actress award at the 53rd Cannes Film Festival, for
her role in the film. Björk has prior acting experience; in 1986,
she performed in an independent American film that was filmed in Iceland,
based on the folk tale "The Juniper Tree".
In 2001 Björk released Vespertine,
her sixth solo album, which received rave reviews. Recently the box set,
Family Tree, has been released which contains all her albums as well as
the Greatest Hits album.
After winning best actress award at Cannes: "I knew when I
said yes that this would be not only my first role but also my last
one. I'm very happy that it's to be this one." Asked whether
she might one day reconsider, she said: "I have to do records
now. I only have 50 years left, and I've got a lot of records to