Caroline Hjelt (born 8 November 1987, of a Swedish mother and Sweden-Finnish father) and Aino Jawo (born 7 July 1986, of a Finnish mother and Gambian father) attended the same music school in Stockholm, but met by chance at a party in February 2009 and formed the duo. Four weeks later, they had written songs for their very first performance as a duo. Two years later, the duo described their music as "classical pop melodies with drums and synths".
In fall 2012, the duo released an extended play Iconic in the US and the album Icona Pop in Sweden. The duo have performed in Sweden, the US, the UK, Germany, Italy, Canada, and Hong Kong and have also been interviewed by Swedish and worldwide press.
2012–13: Breakthrough with I Love It and This Is... Icona Pop
In the summer of 2012, they took part in a number of festivals including electro music festival Summerburst in Gothenburg and also appeared at the Stockholm Stadium, at the start of an international festival and broadcast via Sveriges Television (SVT).
Their EP Iconic EP reached a peak height of 21 on the U.S. iTunes dance chart. In 2013, they embarked on a tour of the United States with Passion Pit and Matt & Kim. In January 2013, "I Love It" was featured in the third episode of the second season of Girls, an comedy-drama series created by Lena Dunham. In March 2013, the duo was named one of Fuse's 30 must-see artists at the South by Southwest festival. In March 2013, "I Love It" was featured in the 16th episode of the fourth season, named "Bring It On", of The Vampire Diaries. On 26 March 2013, "I Love It" was performed on the week 2 results show of Dancing with the Stars. On 3 May 2013, the duo performed "I Love It" on the NBC late-night talk show, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and on ABC's Good Morning America morning news/entertainment show. On 6 May 2013, "I Love It" was featured in the Fox musical-comedy series, Glee. The song was performed by the "New Directions" in Glee's 22nd and final episode of season four, "All or Nothing". This song is featured in a 2013 ShoeDazzle commercial. On 19 May 2013 the duo performed "I Love It" on the Billboard Music Awards, wearing custom light up outfits by designer Geoffrey Mac. The song also is featured in a commercial for the WNBA's upcoming season that was aired during the 4th quarter of Game 7 of the Heat-Pacers Eastern Conference Championship game on 3 June 2013. It was also featured in a commercial during the Spurs-Heat basketball game on 9 June 2013.
On 4 June 2013, the duo released their new single "Girlfriend". Icona Pop revealed in one interview that they recorded their international album with all new songs. The duo said that "the new album isn't just going to be sixteen tracks like 'I Love It'" and that they are trying new genres and sounds. In July 2013, Icona Pop received two Teen Choice awards for Choice Music Breakout Group and Choice Single: Group.
On 28 July 2013, "All Night" was released as the official third single from the album. It gained moderate success in European charts.
On 4 August 2013, the duo visited Montreal, where they performed at the Osheaga Festival in Canada.
On 23 June 2014 the duo released a new single called "Get Lost" which gained less international attention. In the same period, the duo also performed as the opening act for Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus tours. They also collaborated with Tiesto for the song "Let's Go" and with Cobra Starship for the single "Never Been In Love" which became a successful hit in Italy.
On 26 May 2015, the duo released the single "Emergency", a collaboration with Erik Hassle. The song peaked a few weeks later on the Billboard Dance Chart, making their second single to top that chart after All Night. The song was also featured in the video game FIFA 16. In July the EP Emergency was released. It includes the critically acclaimed First Time and the smash-hit Clap Snap.
The duo was announced as an opening act for the North American leg of One Direction's "On the Road Again" tour in 2015. Also in 2015, their song "We Got The World" was featured in the movie Pitch Perfect 2. On 23 February 2016, Icona Pop performed a new single, "Someone Who Can Dance" at the Grammis in Stockholm. On 20 October 2016, the duo released their new single "Brightside". On 16 June 2017, Icona Pop released a new single "GIRLS GIRLS", co-written by Tove Lo. In October 2017, they released a song with Australian duo Peking Duk called "Let You Down". In late December 2017, the duo released an EP called "Så mycket bättre 2017 – Tolkningarna" including 7 covered songs. In early March 2018, the duo collaborated with Avon on a music video called "All My Girls". In late April 2018, the duo was featured on a song called "Faded Away" by Sweater Beats. In late May 2018, Icona Pop said on their social media that they were currently working on their third studio album. In June 2019 the duo performed at St. Louis Pridefest. Icona Pop released a song with R3hab called "This Is How We Party" on 8 February 2019. On 26 July 2019, the duo returned with the first single from the upcoming third studio album – "Next Mistake". The Swedish duo have signed to Ultra Music as of 2019.