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

151 Responses

  1. hugomariano says:

    she is obviously not white, and the Sami are NOT NATIVE TO SCADINAVIA

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