Berthelsen, Julie

Singer, actress and author born in Aarhus (Denmark) in 1979.

Julie Berthelsen, is also known as Julie Ivalo Broberg Berthelsen or by her stage name, Julie. She was born in Aarhus (Denmark) in 1979, to a Greenlandic mother and a Danish father. Following her parents' divorce, she moved to Nuuk (Greenland), where she lived until the age of 19. Her stepfather is Per Berthelsen, a teacher, a politician, and a founding member of the rock band Sume, one of the original rock bands of Greenland in the 1970s. Under the influence of her stepfather, Julie Berthelsen became passionate about singing, which she began to practice intensively at the age of 11. She was 15 when she went on stage for the first time as a backup vocalist at a Sume reunion concert. Thus began her singing career: during her high school studies (1995-1998), she formed a band with her friends and toured the country several times. She moved to Norway, where she studied music and theatre for two years (1998 and 1999) and then moved to back to Aarhus (Denmark), where she studied medicine between 2000 and 2002.

Julie Berthelsen became a celebrity when she participated in the music competition Popstars on Danish television in 2002, winning second place. This achievement brought her recognition in Greenland and Denmark. She subsequently devoted herself entirely to music, releasing five pop music albums: Home (2003), Julie (2004), Asasara (2006), Lige nu (2009) and Closer (2010). In 2003, she attracted a record-breaking crowd of 50,000 fans in the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen (Denmark) on Greenland Day, an annual event that brings together Greenlanders living in Denmark. Many of Julie Berthelsen's songs were also released as singles between 2002 and 2014. Her album Home won three prizes at the 2004 Danish Music Awards, which is also a record. Julie Berthelsen's music is not entirely focused on Greenlandic issues, unlike Sume, whose songs deal with the quest for Greenlandic identity. Her notoriety has however, allowed her to promote the music, tales and legends of her country. Between autumn 2009 and winter 2010, during her tour of acoustic concerts, she played several Greenlandic songs from the album Closer (2010). She has had a long-lasting musical collaboration with Per Berthelsen: most notably their duo albums Live in Katuaq (2014) and Juulli siulleq (2017). Julie Berthelsen's music has an important place in the cultural landscape of her two countries and has been recognized by numerous distinctions. For example, she performed at the Christiansborg Castle (Denmark) in 2014, for the wedding of Prince Frederik of Denmark and the Princess of Mary.

Her musical success and fame has given Julie Berthelsen the opportunity to practice other art forms. She is also an actress, playing in an episode of the Danish series Manden med by Gyldne ører (literally: "The Man with Golden Ears", 2009), and is well known for her role as Nivi in the Greenlandic film Nuummioq (2009) by Otto Rosing and Torben Bech, a film depicting a slice of life of the inhabitants of Nuuk. Julie Berthelsen has also narrated the audio versions of many books, most recently, the Danish translations of two works by Swedish novelist Camilla Grebe: Husdyret (literally: "The Domestic Animal", 2018) and Skyggejægeren (literally: "The Shadow Hunter", 2019).

Julie Berthelsen has also made an appearance in the literary world. She is one of the twenty Greenlanders presented in the trilingual book (Greenlandic, Danish, and English) by visual artist Linga Riber Kalaallit nunaat: silarsuaq, eqqqarsaatigisatsitut ippoq. Grønland: verden er and som vi tænker den Greenland: the world is, as we think it (2010). The account of her life journey offers elements for reflection upon the identity, evolution and future of Greenlandic society. Julie Berthelsen herself took up the pen, after the birth of her son, Casper Nanoq in 2012 and published her first book, Sund balance, in 2015. In it, she recounts the experience of her pregnancy, the acceptance of her new body, and her love of cooking. This book has been well received, leading to a second edition in 2016 and a Braille edition in 2017. Julie Berthelsen related stories of her childhood in Greenland along with twelve other personalities in the audio book, Glimt af Grønland: Min barndom i Grønland (literally: "A glimpse of Greenland: my childhood in Greenland", 2016, 2017) narrated by Lise Ravn.

Julie Berthelsen now lives in Solrød Strand (Denmark), with her husband Minik Dahl Høegh and their two children. Her artistic career is still flourishing: she won second place at the Dansk Melodi Grand Prix in 2019; a former Master of ceremonies for this award in 2010, she also became one of its jury members in 2020. As well, she is involved in many humanitarian causes, especially ones that concern Greenlandic children.

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This biography is based on the available written material during a collective research carried out during 2018-2021. It is possible that mistakes and facts need to be corrected. If you notice an error, or if you wish to correct something in an author's biography, please write to us at and we will be happy to do so. This is how we will be able to have more precise presentations, and to better promote Inuit culture.

(c) International Laboratory for Research on Images of the North, Winter and the Arctic, Université du Québec à Montréal, 2018-2021, Daniel Chartier and al.