2005 Venice Film Festival - Drawing Restraint 9 - Photocall

Björk in 2005, photo by PrPhotos

Birth Name: Björk Guðmundsdóttir

Place of Birth: Reykjavik, Iceland

Date of Birth: November 21, 1965

Ethnicity: Icelandic

Björk is an Icelandic singer, songwriter, composer, record producer, actress, and advocate for environmental causes. She has sold more than 22 million records worldwide. Björk has a distinct three-octave vocal range, with a musical output incorporating electronic, pop, experimental, trip hop, classical, and avant-garde styles. She is known for the songs “Play Dead,” “Big Time Sensuality,” “Violently Happy,” “Army of Me,” “It’s Oh So Quiet,” “Hyperballad,” and “I’ve Seen It All,” and starred in the film Dancer in the Dark. Her album “Biophilia” was an interactive app album with an education program. She was the lead singer of alternative rock band the Sugarcubes.

Björk is the daughter of father Guðmundur Gunnarsson, an electrician and union leader, and mother Hildur Rúna Hauksdóttir, a nature activist, homeopath, and nature conservationist. She has a son with her former husband Þór Eldon; and a daughter with her former partner, American artist Matthew Barney.

Aside from Icelandic, she has said that she has distant Irish ancestry. It is not clear if this Irish ancestry has been verified/documented.

Some have speculated that Björk could be of indigenous Inuit or Sami ethnicity, but there is no evidence of this being the case. Inuit or Sami people are not common in Iceland.

Björk’s patrilineal ancestry can be traced back to her seventh great-grandfather, Jón “Eldri” Þorgilsson.

Björk’s paternal grandfather is Gunnar Guðmundsson (the son of Guðmundur Jóhannesson and Kristín Gunnarsdóttir). Björk’s great-grandfather Guðmundur was the son of Jóhannes Guðmundsson and Ingibjörg Eysteinsdóttir. Kristín was the daughter of Gunnar Kristófersson and Kristín Guðmundsdóttir.

Björk’s paternal grandmother was Hallfríður Guðmundsdóttir (the daughter of Guðmundur “Briskó” Jónsson and Rósa Bachmann Jónsdóttir). Björk’s great-grandfather Guðmundur was the son of Jón Jónsson and Vilborg Guðlaugsdóttir. Rósa was the daughter of Jón Bachmann Jósefsson and Hallfríður Einarsdóttir.

Björk’s maternal grandfather was Guðjón Þórir Tómasson (the son of Tómas Sigurðsson and Sigrún Kristinsdóttir). Guðjón was born in Dalvik, Northeast, Iceland. Björk’s mother was raised and adopted by her own stepfather, Haukur/Hauk Freygarð Guðjónsson. Haukur was the son of Guðjón Guðjónsson and Sveinbjörg Jónsdóttir.

Björk’s maternal grandmother was named Guðrún Helgadóttir/Ásmundsdóttir (born Helgudóttir, the daughter of Helga Guðbjörg Helgadóttir). Guðrún was adopted by Ásmundur Gestsson and Sigurlaug Pálsdóttir. Helga was the daughter of Helgi Andrésson and Helga Björnsdóttir.

Björk’s matrilineal ancestry can be traced back to her fifth great-grandmother, Olufa Nicolausdóttir.

Sources: Genealogies of Bjork –

Genealogy of Björk (focusing on her father’s side) –

Obituary of Björk’s mother –

Obituary of Björk’s maternal granduncle, Andrés Ásmundsson –


Curious about ethnicity

147 Responses

  1. luanfeli says:

    Hildur was the biological daugther of Guðjón Tómasson,but grew up with Haukur who later adopted her.

  2. camellad88 says:

    Clearly she’s Chinese

  3. rafe says:

    Many Scandinavians have those eyes and that bone structure. But since many of them have blue eyes or light hair, people don’t ask questions. The only reason some people guess that Bjork is Asian, is because of her black hair and dark eyes, though by themselves these are common traits across all Europe.

    • andrew says:

      Her eyes look actually greenish and I dont think she has natural black hair. Even though her family has lived in Iceland for many generations, this does not rule out that her Scandinavian ancestors had Mongoloid ancestry.

      • Oaken05 says:

        If she has any (relatively) recent Asian ancestry, it’d most likely be via Greenland given the country’s history. If it’s more distant (or non-existent), well, it’d almost not show up on her phenotypically. While certainly not common, it’s also not shocking to see epicanthal on far-northern Europeans.

        A long story short, I guess what I’m saying is that it wouldn’t be shocking to find she has no relatively recent Asian genetic input.

      • muricansareallmutts says:

        You don’t know how we Europeans are made we can see black hair and eyes in North Europe also not only in the South and in the East.
        Northern Europeans are mainly brown haired and eyed not blond and blue eyed like the stereotype shows and force us to believe in like you do.
        You always say craps.

        • andrew says:

          Ahaha, you’re pathetic. “Northern Europeans” are NOT “mainly brown haired and eyed”, expecially all the Germanic people. People from British Isles are also mostly blue-eyed, though darker-haired on average. You can’t pretend Northeners you idolize are kin to you.

          • muricansareallmutts says:

            HahahahahaAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA you’re so disconnected to the world the average Northern Euros have dark hair and eyes, Austrians and Germans are CENTRAL EUROS NOT NORTHERN you ——- moron—- don’t even know the basic geographic info being you a ——- ——— you aren’t able to see and understand anything.
            Comical a —– like ya who fake to be Finnish who call dark a Euro like me.
            Sorry for — ——– accept to be —– you can’t be —— and not even —– lol.

          • andrew says:

            “Average” Northern Euros do NOT have “dark hair and eyes wtf. Germanic people include also Dutch, Swedes, Norwegian and Danes, if you don’t know. A monkey is more intelligent than you.

          • muricansareallmutts says:

            A brain-damaged ————- is way more smart than you everybody here in Europe see Northern Euros have mainly brown hair and eyes which is a DARK color and gosh Dutch and Scandinavians aren’t Germanics.
            Move ya —— ass and explore the world instead to stay locked in your lil’ backward village.

          • andrew says:

            Dutch and Scandinavians aren’t Germanics…what are they then?

            Capra, studia.

          • muricansareallmutts says:

            They have only a part of Germanic like some Slavs in fact they have different faces compared to Germans and Austrians the real and fully Germanics you have to study, goat!
            Scandinavians are racially Nordic/Norse and Dutch a mix of Nordic and Baltid.

  4. Versa says:

    When I first saw her, I did assume she was part Asian. Some Nordic and Slavic people do have a somewhat Eurasian appearance.

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