Björk is opening up about why she no longer calls the United States her home.
In a new cover story interview with Pitchfork about the making of her upcoming album Fossora, the Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter (whose full name is Björk Guðmundsdóttir) spoke about how the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and gun violence at large led her to move back to her native Iceland.
"The violence in the USA is on a scale I can't even fathom," said Björk, who moved to New York City shortly after welcoming her 19-year-old daughter, Isadora Bjarkardóttir Barney, in 2002 — and left shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic's early 2020 onset.
"And having a daughter that's half-American in school [in New York], 40 minutes away from Sandy Hook..." continued the prolific musician, sighing before explaining how different the culture surrounding violence is in Iceland.
Viðar Logi/Pitchfork Björk
"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," she continued. "In the States, just being a simple islander, all the violence was just too much for me."
Detailing the events that led Björk to leave the US, she cited President Donald Trump's decision to resign from the Paris Climate Accord in 2017. "It's the only time something happened on the news where I actually just broke down and cried," she said. "I was just ruined."
Björk isn't the only non-American musician to declare gun violence as their reason for leaving the US as of late. Last month, Ozzy Osbourne told The Observer that he and wife Sharon Osbourne had made plans to return to their native United Kingdom permanently in the coming months.
In the interview, Ozzy, 73, said he had not traveled to his home country in so long nor performed live in "three or four years" due to health struggles. He and Sharon, 69, will resume living in the U.K. in February 2023 after residing in Los Angeles for more than two decades in large part due to the U.S.'s fraught political environment and too-common gun violence, according to The Observer.
"Everything's f---ing ridiculous there. I'm fed up with people getting killed every day," Ozzy told the outlet. "God knows how many people have been shot in school shootings. And there was that mass shooting in Vegas at that concert… It's f---ing crazy."
Daniel Knighton/Getty Ozzy Osbourne
"And I don't want to die in America. I don't want to be buried in f---ing Forest Lawn," Ozzy added, noting the famous cemetery in Los Angeles. "I'm English. I want to be back. But saying that, if my wife said we've got to go and live in Timbuktu, I'll go."
"But, no, it's just time for me to come home," the former Black Sabbath singer clarified.
While Ozzy has experienced a number of health issues in recent years — he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2003 and underwent a "major operation" in June, among other health scares — Sharon told The Observer that the planned move back to England has nothing to do with her husband's health.
"I knew people would think that. It's not. It's just time," she said. "America has changed so drastically. It isn't the United States of America at all. Nothing's united about it. It's a very weird place to live right now."