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.
Rocker Morrissey has had a change of heart about the Riot Fest in Chicago, Illinois after announcing this week (beg23May16) he had pulled out of the event.
No reason was given but the Girlfriend in a Coma star has pulled out of festivals and gigs before, most notably the Isle Of Wight weekender in 2005, and he also reportedly cancelled slots at Benicassim, KROQ Inland Invasion and Now And Zen in 2004.
But it now seems the Chicago gig will be going ahead in September (16), as scheduled.
Continue reading: Morrissey Changes His Mind About Chicago Riot Fest Performance
The two artists had collaborated together in the early 90s.
Kate Bush has penned a heartfelt tribute to Prince, following his untimely death last Thursday (April 21st). The notoriously private star took to her website to share her sadness over his death, describing the singer as ‘playful and mind-blowingly gifted’.
Kate Bush has paid tribute to Prince following his death on April 21st.
“I am so sad and shocked to hear the tragic news about Prince,” Bush wrote. “He was the most incredibly talented artist. A man in complete control of his work from writer and musician to producer and director. He was such an inspiration.”
Continue reading: Kate Bush Posts Heartfelt Tribute To Prince
Rocker Steven Tyler is praying for news dismissing Prince's death as drug-related because he doesn't want to think doctors may have killed the music legend.
Prince was found dead at his home in Minnesota on Thursday (21Apr16), amid reports suggesting he overdosed on the painkiller Percocet he was taking for hip issues days before his passing.
Tyler, who has battled his own problems with painkillers, tells People magazine he has been crying over the loss of the icon, who he calls "a saint" and "a musician who spoke my language".
The Aerosmith star adds, "We're going to miss him and his music, but I think it's deeper than that."
Continue reading: Steven Tyler: 'I Hope Prince's Death Was Not Drug-related'
The Smiths co-founder Johnny Marr is releasing an autobiography later this year (16).
Set the Boy Free will hit stores in November (16) and will chronicle Johnny's childhood in Manchester, England in the 1960s, his time as Morrissey's sidekick in The Smiths and his session work with groups including Modest Mouse, the Cribs, the The, the Pretenders and Electronic.
The book has been in the works since 2011.
"I wanted to convey a feeling of breaking free, that has been a constant throughout my life," a statement from the British guitarist reads. "A feeling that expresses itself as both escape and discovery. Transcendence. I found it through rock & roll and art..."
Continue reading: Johnny Marr Releasing Long-awaited Autobiography
Jessica Brown Findlay has been cast as British artist Linder Sterling in the upcoming Morrissey biopic.
The former Downton Abbey actress will star opposite Scottish actor Jack Lowden in Steven, which chronicles Morrissey's life in 1970s Manchester, England before he finds fame with The Smiths in the 1980s.
The actress will play the English visual artist, who became close friends with the rocker, real name Steven Patrick Morrissey. Linder has included the rocker in many of her art works, including a photograph book in 1992. She also appeared in a 2002 documentary about the musician, worked on video footage for his concert DVD, and shot the images for many of his record covers, including albums Your Arsenal and Beethoven Was Deaf.
"He did a whole bunch of jobs while he figured out who he was," Lowden, who will play the rocker, previously explained to Britain's Daily Mail newspaper. "He came from a working-class background, and felt out of place there. He wanted to get out and escape into that explosion of music that was in Manchester around that time. It was exhilarating, and everyone was trying to find their place."
Continue reading: Jessica Brown Findlay Joins Morrissey Biopic
Morrissey has warned fans not to follow a new Twitter account set up to "celebrate" his former band The Smiths.
The music icon has insisted that the new account, set up by Warner Music to "celebrate the history of the band", has not been sanctioned by him.
When an official Twitter account launched earlier this week, excited fans speculated that a possible reunion could be on the cards.
The account has already gained more than 20,000 followers, however, the outspoken former leader of the British band ominously warned fans to follow the Twitter feed at their "peril".
Continue reading: Morrissey Warns Fans Not To Follow The Smiths On Twitter
Morrissey has launched an online attack on Britain's royal family in response to remarks made by Prince William about hunting.
The former frontman of The Smiths is a vocal animal rights activist and took exception to comments made by the Prince, in an interview last week (beg14Mar16), supporting the practice of trophy hunting in some circumstances.
In response, the rocker posted a picture on his True-To-You fan website showing the heads of British royals, Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke of Edinburgh, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, William and his brother Prince Harry mounted on a wall in the same manner as animal trophies typically displayed by hunters.
In a post underneath the image the Queen Is Dead singer wrote he wanted to see Britain's royal family hunted down.
Continue reading: Morrissey Slams Britain's 'Useless' Royals In Online Rant
British actor Jack Lowden has been cast as morose rocker Morrissey in a new movie biopic.
The War And Peace star will lead the cast of Steven, which will chronicle the singer/songwriter's early life struggles after leaving school in his native Manchester, England, and moving from one dead-end job to another, before finding fame as the frontman of the Smiths in the 1980s.
"He did a whole bunch of jobs while he figured out who he was," Lowden explained to Britain's Daily Mail newspaper. "He came from a working-class background, and felt out of place there. He wanted to get out and escape into that explosion of music that was in Manchester around that time. It was exhilarating, and everyone was trying to find their place."
Lowden will also perform a number of the rock band's classics for the film, including This Charming Man, according to TheGuardian.com. Production is scheduled to begin in April (16).
Continue reading: Jack Lowden To Play Morrissey Onscreen
The film will focus on Morrissey’s early life before he formed The Smiths.
Jack Lowden who starred in BBC period drama ‘War and Peace’ earlier this year, has been cast as Morrissey in the upcoming biopic of The Smiths’ frontman. Titled Steven, the film will focus on Morrissey’s pre-Smith’s life and the series of odd jobs he worked before he decided to move into music.
Jack Lowden will play Morrissey in Steven.
Speaking to The Daily Mail, Lowden described Morrissey as ‘a massive icon’ and explained how the film would explore the singer’s life after leaving school and the events which led to him forming the seminal band.
Continue reading: 'War And Peace' Star Jack Lowden Cast As Morrissey In Upcoming Biopic
Animal rights activist considers political career.
So, Morrissey is seriously considering entering the race to become Mayor of London, putting forth his vegetarian views as his main political focus. And he only needs £10,000 and a minimum of 330 signatures of support. Suddenly all the other potential candidates don't seem so bad now, do they?
It's one of life's greatest pleasures to be able to escape the Smiths singer's extremist ramblings on vegetarianism with just a few clicks, but it looks like it could be set to be more difficult in the future as he considers taking to politics to press his opinions, because he believes that pressure groups are never going to have any effect until the issue hits the government.