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France honours singer Bjork



PARIS, France -- Icelandic pop singer Bjork has received one of France's highest honours.

The star was decorated in Paris with the Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Mérite (Knight of the National Order of Merit) on Thursday at the start of her world tour.

French Education Minister Jack Lang, who presented the medal to Bjork at the Ministry of National Education, said the award was "a sign of friendship toward an artist."

Lang said he "discovered" Bjork while on an official visit to Iceland with the late President Francois Mitterrand in 1990.

"At that time, she was unknown," Lang said, adding that he has been a fan ever since.

Letter bomb

Bjork, who received Iceland's Knight's Cross medal in 1997, won best actress for her role in Lars von Trier's "Dancer in the Dark" at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival.

As well as a string of hits, including Venus as A Boy, It's Oh So Quiet and Violently Happy, she made headlines in 1996 when she attacked a journalist in Bangkok airport

The same year Ricardo Lopez, an American, sent a letter bomb to her London home before filming his own suicide. The bomb was intercepted by police.

Her latest album, "Vespertine," is to be released on August 27.

Before leaving Paris, the eclectic pop star, who was a member of the Sugarcubes before going solo after the band split in 1992, gave two concerts inside the city's tiny gothic Sainte-Chapelle.

Only 300 tickets were on sale for each concert at the church, which is known for its 13th-century stained-glass windows and phenomenal acoustics.






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