Björk Guðmundsdóttir (Icelandic pronunciation: [ˈpjœr̥k ˈkvʏðmʏntsˌtouhtɪr], born 21 November 1965), known mononymously as Björk (/ˈbjɜːrk/), is an Icelandic singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and occasional actress. She initially became known as the lead singer of the alternative rock band The Sugarcubes, whose 1987 single "Birthday" was a hit on US and UK indie stations and a favorite among music critics. Björk embarked on a solo career in 1993, coming to prominence as a solo artist with her single "Human Behaviour" and her album Debut. She has since had 30 singles reach the Top 40 on pop charts around the world, with 22 Top 40 hits in the UK, including the Top 10 hits "It's Oh So Quiet", "Army of Me", and "Hyperballad". Additionally, "Big Time Sensuality", "Hyperballad" and "I Miss You" were number one Dance Hits in the US. Over her three-decade career, she has developed an experimental and eclectic musical style that draws on a wide range of influences and genres spanning electronic, dance, pop, and avant-garde styles. Critics have consistently praised Björk's work, praising her innovative approach to singing and composition, her musical experimentation, her music videos, and her distinctive voice; she has been described as "the most important and forward-looking musician of her generation" and "the best non-pop female vocalist of the last 30 years."
Björk's current record sales are claimed to range between 20 and 40 million records sold worldwide. Björk has won five BRIT Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, one MOJO Award, three UK Music Video Awards, 21 Icelandic Music Awards and, in 2010, the 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." She has also been nominated for 14 Grammy Awards, one Academy Award, and two Golden Globe Awards. She won the Best Actress Award at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival for her performance in Dancer in the Dark. A full-scale retrospective exhibition dedicated to Björk was held at the Museum of Modern Art in 2015. Björk has been ranked twenty-ninth in VH1's "The 100 Greatest Women in Music", eighth in MTV's "22 Greatest Voices in Music", sixtieth in Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Singers of All Time", eighty-first in Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time", and was recognized in NPR's "50 Great Voices" feature for her "celestial voice." In 2015, the singer was included in the prestigious Time 100 list in the "Icons" section, as one of the most influential people in the world, with Marina Abramović affirming that "[Björk] teaches us the courage to be ourselves."
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