The Quizmaster was waiting to catch me with this one. “Name an Icelandic singer—” I took a breath “—who isn’t Björk.”
And all the air was sucked out of my lungs and out of the room.
So here we have a genuine Not Björk. Her name is Birgitta Haukdal Brynjarsdóttir, she turned 40 over the weekend, and half a lifetime ago, she took over as lead vocalist for a band called Írafár.
The album Allt sem ég sé — “Everything I see” — was an enormous hit by Icelandic standards, and this may have something to do with Birgitta showing up at the Eurovision Song Contest the next year, which was 2003.
“Segðu mér allt” — “Open your heart” — won the Icelandic final. At contest HQ, she sanfg it in English. She wound up placing eighth.
She’s kept a low profile since then, though she did make one more try at Eurovision with “Meðal Andanna” (“Among the spirits”) in 2013, and she released three albums, the most recent in 2011.