Morrissey (born Steven Patrick Morrissey, 22.5.1959) Morrissey is an English singer and songwriter who first rose to fame as the enigmatic front man of 1980s band The Smiths.
Childhood: Morrissey was born in Urmston, Lancashire, to Peter and Elizabeth Morrissey, both Irish Catholic immigrants. He was raised, along with his older sister Jackie, in the Hulme area of Manchester. When the terraced streets began to be demolished, however, they moved to Stretford.
Morrissey developed an early interest in music and became fascinated with iconic singers such as Marianne Faithfull and Sandie Shaw, as well as movie icons like James Dean. Whilst he was a child, Ian Brady and Myra Hindley murdered a number of children in Manchester and this had a huge effect on him and his songwriting.
Morrissey's first ever gig was T. Rex at BelleVue in Manchester in 1972. Later in the 1970s, he became obsessed with the New York Dolls and set up a fan club for them. He also founded a fan club for The Cramps. He went on to form his own punk band, the Nosebleeds, with Billy Duffy, who went on to be in Southern Death Cult and The Cult.
The Author: In the early 1980s, Morrissey had two books published by Babylon Books, The New York Dolls and James Dean Is Not Dead.
The Smiths: Morrissey met John Maher (Johnny Marr) in 1982 and the pair began songwriting together. The drummer from The Fall, Simon Wolstencroft, drummed on their demo tapes but was replaced by Mike Joyce. Andy Rourke eventually joined on bass and they soon signed to Rough Trade Records, who released their debut single, 'Hand In Glove' in May 1983. The record was picked up by the BBC DJ John Peel and in February 1984, their debut album, The Smiths was released and went to number two in the UK album chart.
The band's second album, Meat Is Murder was the only studio album that reached number one in the UK album chart. In 1986, Andy Rourke was fired from the band for using heroin, though he was reinstated after two weeks. His temporary replacement, Craig Gannon, stayed in the band, on rhythm guitar. This five piece recorded the single 'Ask' with Kirsty MacColl on vocals. Gannon left the band in 1986 and the band left Rough Trade, signing a deal with EMI, much to the consternation of their fans.
The Smiths split shortly before the release of their fourth album, Strangeways, Here We Come.
Solo: Morrissey's debut solo album, Viva Hate was released in 1988. The album was produced by Stephen Street and also included Vini Reilly (of Durutti Column) and Andrew Paresi.
His second LP, Bona Drag, was a compilation of singles and B-sides and non-album tracks, such as 'November Spawned A Monster'.
Kill Uncle was Morrissey's next studio album and was produced by Clive Langer. Mark E. Nevin was brought on board as a songwriter. The band with whom he toured to promote the album later became his studio band for the next album, Your Arsenal, which was produced by Mick Ronson and included the Top 20 single 'We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful'.
Morrissey's second number one album came with 1994's Vauxhall & I. the album included the single 'The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get.' Despite saying at the time that he would quit after the album's release, he went on to record Southpaw Grammar, which reached number four in the UK album charts.
In 1997 - after a brief break due to a lengthy court case with Mike Joyce & Johnny Marr over The Smiths' royalties - Morrissey released the single 'Alma Matters', shortly before the album Maladjusted. Around this time, he moved to Los Angeles.
Morrissey took another, lengthier break from recording, until the release of You Are The Quarry on Attack Records. The lead single from the album was 'Irish Blood, English Heart', which reached number three in the UK singles chart. The album became one of the most successful of his career, selling over 1 million copies.
2006 saw the release of Ringleader of the Tormentors, which was recorded in Rome and featured the singles 'You Have Killed Me' and 'I Just Want To See the Boy Happy'. The album was recorded by previous David Bowie collaborator, Tony Visconti.
In 2007, it was rumoured that Morrissey may write the song for that year's Eurovision Song Contest but nothing came of his talks with the BBC on the matter. That same year, Morrissey ended his contract with Sanctuary Records and undertook a Greatest Hits tour, supported by Girl In A Coma and Kristeen Young.
'I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris' was the lead single from 2009's Years of Refusal.
Controversy & Personal Life: Morrissey has had a number of public feuds, with the likes of Robert Smith (The Cure) and Nicky Wire (Manic Street Preachers). When he took to the stage draped in a Union Jack at Madness' Madstock gig, he was accused of nationalism and of having far right political leanings.
In 2008, when NME pulled their financial support from a Love Music Hate Racism gig in London, Morrissey donated £75,000 to the event. This was following an NME interview with Tim Jonze in 2007, which implied that Morrissey still harboured racist ideas.
Morrissey is outspoken on the subject of vegetarianism and has been vegetarian since the age of 11.
For many years, the media has debated the subject of Morrissey's sexuality. In 1984, Johnny Marr stated that Morrissey was not sexually active at that time but that he had had plenty of girlfriends and male friends in the past.
What's new in the music world this week?
Kicking off the first in our series of Weekly Music Highlights, we summarise the key events in the music industry this week. Over the last few days we've seen thrilling news in the next Bond theme tune department, drama ahead of the Grammys, and major honours bestowed upon music legends. That's not to mention some incredible new albums and exciting festival updates...
Billie Eilish at Billboard's Women in Music 2019 / Photo Credit: Image Press Agency/NurPhoto/PA Images
Manchester-based DJ Dave Haslam is throwing a free anti-racism party in Manchester on the same day as Morrissey's gig at Castlefield Bowl.
Morrissey’s manager has decried plans for an anti-racism party near the singer’s upcoming Manchester gig as “bull****” and has accused the organiser of attention-seeking.
Campaigners describing themselves as ex-fans of Morrissey’s solo work and his music with The Smiths are staging an event to coincide with the singer’s homecoming gig at Manchester’s Castlefield Bowl on July 8th.
The plans for the event follow recent controversial statement made by 59 year old Morrissey in defence of the jailed English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson.
Continue reading: Morrissey's Manager Calls Protest Party Ahead Of Gig "Bull****"
It's the second video from his 'Low In High School' album.
Morrissey goes very retro with the video for his new song 'Jacky's Only Happy When She's Up On The Stage' taken from his recently released eleventh solo studio album 'Low In High School'. It's his second video from the new record after 'Spent The Day In Bed'.
Morrissey performing live in 2016
'Jacky's Only Happy When She's Up On The Stage' dropped on November 7th and now the official video has been released featuring Morrissey rocking a bare chest under his suit jacket, surrounded by slightly morose dancers in blue silk get-ups against a sixties TV studio backdrop.
His comments about sexual misconduct has caused quite the sensation.
Morrissey has some interesting thoughts on the Hollywood sexual harassment scandal involving the likes of Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey among others. He has managed to anger a lot of people (not for the first time) by defending them in what many would call 'victim blaming'.
Morrissey performing live
The 58-year-old has never been one to mince his words, nor has he ever been one to keep his opinions to himself. Unfortunately, his latest statements have most definitely lost him some fans as he defends Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey and throws scepticism on the validity of the claims of sexual misconduct.
Continue reading: Sexual Harassment In Hollywood: Morrissey Defends The Accused
Morrissey announced a tour of the UK in February and March 2018 for his new album 'Low In High School'.
The ever-controversial Steven Patrick Morrissey has caused a stir by announcing his first UK tour in three years – but opting to leave out his home city of Manchester.
The former Smiths frontman revealed details of a tour of the UK and Ireland in February and March 2018, via a video on his recently created Twitter page on Friday (October 27th). The jaunt around the British isles will take in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Newcastle, Leeds, Birmingham, Brighton and London's Royal Albert Hall and Alexandra Palace, with a date at Dublin’s 3Arena.
The tour is in support of his eleventh solo album Low In High School, which is due to be released on November 17th, and the tour will be his first in three years following the efforts in support of 2014’s World Peace is None of Your Business.
Continue reading: Morrissey Overlooks Manchester In UK Tour Announcement
He tackles social and political issues with his latest album.
Morrissey is back with his first album in three years entitled 'Low In High School' and, as the title suggests it explores the social, political and economical mindsets of today's youth. Of course, the opinionated singer has always been a vocal figure when it comes to world issues, so with the climate as it is, he couldn't resist putting it to music.
Morrissey performing live
The 58-year-old Brit confessed his worries for the futures of young people in the modern world, especially when considering how much as changed for them over the last decade. Their lives are more uncertain than ever - and certainly different to when he was a 'carefree' teen.
Continue reading: Morrissey Ponders The 'Directionless' Youth With 'Low In High School'
His first Tweet may have been confusing, but there's a reason for that.
Love him or hate him, Morrissey has finally joined Twitter and his first post was hilariously random. Although, not quite as random as you might of thought when he explained himself a few hours later. Still, we're sure to expect a slew of opinionated posts in the coming months.
Morrissey performing live
Now that The Smiths frontman has finally joined the 21st century, he's using it to his full advantage. His first Tweet was last night (September 18th 2017), and gave his followers a glimpse into what he did that day - it's something that we can all relate to.
Continue reading: Morrissey Has Joined Twitter With Some Rather Exciting News
Morrissey has allowed PETA to use The Smiths' 1985 track for the purposes of a new mobile-friendly video game, titled 'The Beautiful Creature Must Die'.
British indie legends The Smiths have teamed up with animal rights group PETA to create a new video game based on the group’s 1985 song ‘Meat Is Murder’.
The track, from the Mancunian group’s album of the same name, has long been an anthem for vegetarians and has been specially rendered in 8-bit form, with the song playing in the background as players get to save cows, chickens, pigs and turkeys from being killed in a slaughterhouse as bombs fall in all direction. The retro-styled game, titled 'The Beautiful Creature Must Die', has been created in partnership with tech firm This Is Pop.
Morrissey has given permission for PETA to use 'Meat Is Murder' in a new video game
Continue reading: The Smiths And PETA Team Up For 'Meat Is Murder' Mobile Game
Cancer's a terrible thing, and even the stars aren't immune.
As if Lil Boosie didn't have enough to deal with having just been released from prison, the rapper has now revealed that he's been diagnosed with kidney cancer as he pleads with fans to pray for him as he attempts to overcome his latest battle.
Pray for Boosie as he embarks on a scary journey
It's not the first time Boosie (real name Torrence Hatch and now professionally known as Boosie Badazz) has had health issues either; the Louisiana lyricist revealed in 2006 that he had diabetes, and his health can't have been helped by the subsequent five years he spent behind bars. Let's just hope that this time he doesn't have a death sentence.
Continue reading: Don't Just Pray For Cancer-Stricken Lil Boosie, Pray For These Stars Too
Franco and his band Daddy will release an album titled 'Let Me Get What I Want’.
Actor James Franco and his band Daddy have signed a record deal to release an album and film inspired by The Smiths. The album will be titled Let Me Get What I Want in reference to The Smiths' song 'Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want’ and will be released in 2016 through Kobalt records.
James Franco and his band Daddy will release a Smiths inspired album.
Daddy is comprised of the actor and multi-instrumentalist Tim O’Keefe, while the album will also feature actual Smiths' bassist Andy Rourke playing on every track. Franco has previously written poetry influenced by The Smiths’ music and will use them as the basis for the album.
Continue reading: James Franco Signs Record Deal For The Smiths Inspired Album