Robin Miriam Carlsson[4] (born 12 June 1979), known as Robyn, is a Swedish singer, songwriter and record producer.[5] Robyn became known in 1997 for the worldwide dance-pop hit "Do You Know (What It Takes)" from her debut album, Robyn Is Here. The popularity of her UK number-one "With Every Heartbeat" and her 2005 album, Robyn, brought her international success. In June 2010 Robyn released the first album of a trilogy, Body Talk Pt. 1 (her first album since Robyn), which reached number one. Its lead single, "Dancing on My Own", was released several weeks before the album and was nominated for Best Dance Recording at the 2010 Grammy Awards. Body Talk Pt. 2 was released on 6 September 2010 and debuted at number one on the Swedish chart.[6] The trilogy's final album, Body Talk, was released on 22 November 2010 with "Indestructible" its lead single; "Call Your Girlfriend" was the album's second single.[7] In May 2015 Robyn announced a new music project, La Bagatelle Magique.[8]


1989–1993: Career beginnings

Robyn voiced the character Miranda in the 1989 Swedish-Norwegian animated film The Journey to Melonia. The film, directed by Per Åhlin, is very loosely based on William Shakespeare's The Tempest. She also did the Swedish voice of Anne-Marie in All Dogs Go to Heaven. In 1991, at the age of 12, Robyn recorded the theme song for the Swedish television show Lilla Sportspegeln, named Du kan alltid bli nummer ett ("You can always be number one").[9] She performed her first self-written song at this age on another television show, Söndagsöppet. Robyn was rediscovered by Swedish pop singer Meja in the early 1990s. Meja and her band Legacy of Sound visited Robyn's school and were involved with a musical workshop. Robyn's performances impressed Meja so much so that she contacted her management and a meeting was arranged with Robyn and her parents. Following the completion of her middle school education, Robyn signed in 1993 at age 14 to Ricochet Records Sweden[10] (which was acquired by BMG in 1994).[11] She collaborated with producers Max Martin and Denniz Pop, who provided the singer with a gritty yet popular sound. Writing duties were assisted by Ulf Lindstrom and Johan Ekhé, who also helped to produce the album, and they stayed on board with Robyn until the completion of her album Don't Stop the Music in 2003.

1994–97: Robyn Is Here

Robyn started her career in the pop music industry at the age of 16. She signed a record deal with RCA Records in 1994 to release her debut single, "You've Got That Somethin'", in Sweden. Later that same year, her Swedish breakthrough came with the single "Do You Really Want Me (Show Respect)". These singles became part of the album Robyn Is Here, released in October 1995. Robyn contributed vocals to Blacknuss's 1996 single "Roll with Me." Robyn entered Sweden's pre-selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 1997, as co-writer and producer of the song "Du gör mig hel igen," which was performed by Cajsalisa Ejemyr. In Melodifestivalen 1997 the song ended up in fourth place.

Robyn's US breakthrough came in 1997, when the dance-pop singles "Show Me Love" and "Do You Know (What It Takes)" reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. She performed on the children's show All That in 1997, singing "Show Me Love," proving her growing popularity in the US. The songs also performed well in the UK. Robyn re-released "Do You Really Want Me (Show Respect)" internationally but it did not fare as well as the other releases. In the US, it was ineligible to chart because there was no retail single available, but it reached number 32 on the Hot 100 Airplay chart. The song "Show Me Love" was prominently used in the 1998 Lukas Moodysson film Fucking Åmål, and the song's title was used as the film's title in English-speaking countries. As Robyn's popularity grew across the globe, especially in the US, she was diagnosed with exhaustion and quickly returned to Sweden to recover.

1998–04: My Truth and Don't Stop the Music

Recording began on Robyn's second album in 1998. The album, My Truth, was released in May 1999 in Sweden with subsequent releases elsewhere in Europe. The single "Electric" was a hit and propelled My Truth to the number two position in Sweden. My Truth was an autobiographical release for Robyn and included the tracks "Universal Woman" and "Giving You Back". Despite her success in the US market with Robyn Is Here, My Truth was not released in the United States.[2] In 1999, Robyn contributed to Christian Falk's debut solo album Quel Bordel, appearing on the tracks "Remember" and "Celebration." In 2000, she appeared on the track "Intro/Fristil" on Petter's self-titled album. In 2001, Robyn performed the song "Say You'll Walk the Distance" to the soundtrack for the film On the Line.

In July 2001, Robyn signed a worldwide deal with Jive Records moving from BMG[2] after being "disillusioned with the lack of artistic control" she had there;[14] a year later Jive was acquired by BMG when it bought out Zomba Records.[2] As she later said "I was back where I started!"[14] In November 2002, Robyn released the album Don't Stop the Music in Sweden. Singles "Keep This Fire Burning" and "Don't Stop the Music" graced playlists in Scandinavia and mainland Europe. The title track (a subsequent single) was later covered by Swedish girl group Play, and the lead single, "Keep This Fire Burning," was covered by British soul singer Beverley Knight. In May 2004, the album Robyn's Best was released in the US. It was essentially a condensed version of her debut album; containing no material from her later releases. In 2006, following her departure from BMG, Det Bästa Med Robyn (The Best of Robyn) was released in Sweden. It included material from her first three albums. Notable omissions from this release were the singles "Don't Stop the Music" and "Keep This Fire Burning".

2005–08: Konichiwa Records and Robyn

The decade-long relationship between Robyn and BMG ended in 2004.[2] When the label reacted negatively to "Who's That Girl?"'s electropop sound, she decided to release music on her own. In early 2005 the singer announced that she would found her own record label, Konichiwa Records.[2]

The second single from the UK release, "With Every Heartbeat", was released in late July 2007 and reached number one on the UK singles chart. Robyn appeared on Jo Whiley's BBC Radio 1 show, Live Lounge, and her follow-up singles "Handle Me", "Be Mine!", "Who's That Girl?" and "Dream On" were top 30 hits. In Australia, Robyn reached the top 10 of the iTunes Store album chart. Robyn completed a short US tour to promote Robyn, and supported Madonna's Sticky & Sweet Tour at some European dates in 2008.[2]

2009–present: Body Talk, Do It Again and Love Is Free

In January 2009, Robyn won a Swedish Grammis Award for Best Live Act 2008.[2] She released the first album of the Body Talk trilogy, Body Talk Pt. 1, on 14 June 2010 in the Nordic countries on EMI and on 15 June in the US on Interscope Records.[2][3] The album was preceded by the single "Dancing on My Own" on 1 June 2010. It was Robyn's first number-one hit in Sweden and her fourth top-ten hit in the UK and the US, peaking at number eight on the UK Singles Chart and number three on Billboard's Hot Dance Club Songs chart. In July 2010 she sang a minimalist, electro cover version of Alicia Keys' "Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart" in a live performance on iheartradio.[3] Robyn made the All Hearts Tour in July–August 2010 with American singer Kelis to promote the Body Talk albums,[3] and a four-date UK tour at the end of October.[25]

On 6 September 2010, Body Talk Pt. 2 was released in the UK.[25] It was preceded by the lead single, a dance version of "Hang with Me" from Body Talk Pt. 1, on 5 September.[3] The album includes a duet with American rapper Snoop Dogg, "U Should Know Better".[3] Robyn performed "Dancing on My Own" with deadmau5 at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards on 12 September.[3] In a BBC Newsbeat interview, Robyn explained her decision to release three albums in one year: "It was just something I felt like I needed to do. I just never thought about selling records or not, making this decision. I just did it for myself. It's a way of, for me, to stay inspired and to be able to do the things I like to do".[29] She said she would not do it again: "When you do 16 or 13 songs in one go, you kind of empty yourself, and it takes a while to fill back up and have new things to talk about, so I think it's good for everyone".[29]

Robyn announced the release of the single, "Indestructible", on 13 October 2010;[30] an acoustic version appeared on Body Talk Pt. 2. The song was released on 17 November in Scandinavia and 22 November in the UK.[3] Co-written by Klas Åhlund, it was described as a "pulsating full power version [that] takes every ounce of that emotion and wraps it up in another exceptional disco-pop record worthy of any dance-floor or passion-laden sing-a-long."[30] Robyn planned to collaborate with Swedish producer Max Martin on the song, "Time Machine";[4] Martin produced Robyn's US hits "Do You Know (What It Takes)" and "Show Me Love", both of which peaked in the top 10 of the Billboard 100 in 1997.[4] Combined, the Body Talk albums have sold 91,000 copies in the US.[4]

In 2010 Robyn guest-starred on "War at the Roses", an episode of Gossip Girl, in which she performed the acoustic version of "Hang With Me". "Dancing on My Own" was also featured at the end of the episode. In November, she said she would return to the studio in January 2011 with enough material to release a new album later that year.[4] Robyn supported Coldplay on their 2012 tour as the opening act in Dallas, Houston, Tampa, Miami, Atlanta, Charlotte, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.[37] In mid-2013, Robyn appeared with Paul Rudd and Sean Combs in "Go Kindergarten" on the Lonely Island's The Wack Album.[4]

On 21 and 22 June 2013, Robyn posted two videos of the Snoop Dogg collaboration: "U Should Know Better"[4] and "Behind The Scenes",[4] and a game, Mixory.[4] That year she received the Stockholm KTH Royal Institute of Technology Great Prize for "artistic contributions and embrace of technology", a prize of 1.2 million Swedish kronor (£117,197), which she planned to donate to a cause of her choice.[43]

In 2014 Robyn sang on Neneh Cherry's "Out of the Black" from her album, Blank Project.[5]

In 2014 Robyn announced the Do It Again Tour with Röyksopp and a collaborative mini-album, Do It Again.[5] The tour ended prematurely upon the death of Robyn's longtime friend and collaborator, Christian Falk. An EP of their final collaboration, Love Is Free, was released soon after. In 2015 Robyn appeared at the Popaganda Festival in Sweden performing songs written with Falk, but announced that subsequent performances would have to wait because she was still grieving.[5]

In May 2016 Robyn debuted a continuous dance set of remixed versions of her songs at the Boston Calling Music Festival, with plans for more dates throughout the year.

Personal life

Robyn's parents helmed an independent theatre group; growing up in that environment had a strong influence on her sense of style. "I was around people who dressed up for work every day, and so the concept of how you can use clothes to change your personality or communicate who you are is very interesting to me." [5]

Robyn started dating Olof Inger in 2003, and they were engaged until 2011.[5] She has since become engaged to videographer Max Vitali, referring to him in a 2013 interview with Collection of Style magazine as her fiancé: "We became friends when we made the video for 'Be Mine', and now we work together a lot. He made all the videos for the last album [Body Talk]."[5] Robyn has two younger siblings, Jac and Effie.


Awards and nominations