Björk Says She Left the U.S. Because of Gun Violence: It Was ‘Just Too Much’

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Icelandic singer Björk moved back to her home country over concerns about America’s gun violence, she revealed in an interview with Pitchfork. While discussing the inception of her 10th studio album, Fossora, the singer described fearing for her own daughter Isadora’s safety, citing the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012.

“The violence in the USA is on a scale I can’t even fathom,” said Björk. “And having a daughter that’s half-American in school [in New York], 40 minutes away from Sandy Hook…”

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Bjork made New York her part-time home in 2002, after the birth of her daughter with American artist Matthew Barney. She left for Iceland at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When we are here, I absorb all of Iceland. If one person is killed in the north, we all hurt. It’s an island mentality,” said Bjork. “In the States, just being a simple islander, all the violence was just too much for me.”

Bjork, whose newest album is inspired by fungi, told Pitchfork that she does much of her best songwriting secluded in a cabin in her lush homeland.

The self-described “simple islander” is just one of many European artists who’ve denounced America’s gun violence in recent years. Ozzy Osbourne revealed plans to move back to England permanently in February 2023, calling American gun violence “ridiculous.” British singer-songwriter Harry Styles pledged $1 million to Everytown after the shooting of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

“Along with all of you, I have been absolutely devastated by the recent string of mass shootings in America, culminating at the latest in Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas,” Styles wrote in a statement on Instagram.

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