Date of Birth: November 21, 1965
Place of Birth: Reykjavik, Iceland
Height: 5' 4"
Best Known For: Her music & lead role in Dancer in the Dark
Bjork was born on November 21, 1965, in Iceland. She is the daughter of an electrician named Gudmundur Gunnarsson and his wife Hildur Hauksdóttir. Her parents divorced when Bjork was just one year old, and she was raised primarily by her mother in a hippie community with her 7 siblings.
Bjork took an interest in music at a very young age and she began studying classical music at age 5. She released her first album at age 11 in 1977. After her first album she began creating music with others and was a member of a few punk bands during her teen years.
Bjork's next project was creating the pop group The Sugarcubes with Einer Orn and Sigtryggur Baldursson. Later, more members joined the band, including Thor Eldon, with whom she had a son in 1986. The Sugarcubes released its first single in 1986 and its first album, Life's Too Good, in 1988, which brought the group international fame. Around this time, Bjork also worked with the Icelandic jazz group Gudmundar Ingólfssonar Trio for their album titled Gling-Glo, released in 1990. She was also featured on the track titled "Ooops" by 808 State, which seems to be what sparked her interest in electronic music. The Sugarcubes split up in the early 1990s after releasing just a few albums.
After the break-up of The Sugarcubes, Bjork moved to London to pursue a solo career. It was there that she began working with producer Nellee Hooper, who helped bring Bjork to even bigger fame with her international hit single, "Human Behaviour." Her solo debut album, Debut, was released in June 1993, and received positive reviews around the world and went platinum in the United States.
The success of Debut allowed Bjork to collaborate again with Nellee Hooper, Tricky, Graham Massey of 808 State, and electronic music producer Howie B. on her next album, Post, released in 1995, and a remix album, Telegram, the following year. It was this sophomore album which featured her successful single "It's Oh So Quiet." Bjork went to Spain to record her third album, Homogenic, which was released in 1997. The album featured Icelandic String Octet, Mark Bell (from LFO), Eumir Deodato, 'Mark "Spike' Stent' and Howie B. This album spawned a few singles paired with music videos that played on MTV, including "All Is Full of Love" and "Bachelorette."
In addition to her successful music career, Bjork played a blind factory worker named Selma in the drama film Dancer in the Dark in 2000. She also recorded the soundtrack for the film titled Selmasongs. She won the Best Actress Prize at the Cannes Festival for her outstanding performance.
Bjork's fourth album, Vespertine, was released in 2001 and featured a chamber orchestra, an Icelandic choir, harpist Zeena Parkins, DJ Thomas Knak and Matmos. The album was Bjork's fastest selling album ever, and sold 2 million copies by the end of 2001. Around this time, Bjork released a coffee table book of photos and prose titled Bjork.
In August 2004, Bjork composed and sang "Oceania" for the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. The song was later released on her fifth album, Medúlla, which hit stores two weeks after the Olympics. The majority of the sounds on the album are created by vocalists, (with some distortion added later in the studio). The record features the vocals of throat-singer Tagaq, hip hop beatboxer Rahzel, Japanese beatboxer Dokaka, avant-rocker Mike Patton, Soft Machine drummer/singer Robert Wyatt, and several choirs.
Bjork's sixth album, Volta, was released in May 2007. It was primarily written and produced by Bjork herself, but it features numerous other artists including Timbaland, Mark Bell (again) and a ten-piece female brass section consisting of Icelandic musicians.Bjork was married to Thor Eldon in the 1980s and she has one son with him, Sindri Eldon Þórsson, born June 8, 1986. She married Matthew Barney in 2000 and has one daughter with him, Ísadóra Bjarkardóttir Barney, born October 3, 2002.
Heavenly Celebrities: Bjork
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