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.
Morrissey will not be delivering this year's alternative Christmas speech for Channel 4.
Former Smiths singer Morrissey has "politely declined" an invitation from Channel 4 to record an alternative Christmas Day television message.
Morrissey released his latest album, World Peace Is None Of Your Business, earlier this year
An alternative Christmas message has been broadcast by Channel 4 since 1993, with the likes of Sacha Baron Cohen, Jamie Oliver, Marge and Lisa Simpson and Katie Piper taking up the mantle, however, speaking on fan-site True To You, Morrissey said he would not be joining the list.
Continue reading: Morrissey Declines Offer For 'Alternative Christmas Speech' on Channel 4
Morrissey has undergone treatment for cancer, but remains upbeat.
Morrissey has revealed that he has undergone a series of cancer treatments after repeatedly being hospitalized over the past year-and-a-half. The former Smiths frontman was diagnosed with a bleeding ulcer in 2013, pneumonia a few months later, food poisoning in July and a respiratory infection in June this year.
Morrissey recently released his first solo album in four years, 'World Peace Is None Of Your Business'
However, in a new Spanish language interview with El Mundo, Morrissey - via the Morrissey-Solo messageboard - said: "They have scraped cancerous tissues four times already, but whatever.If I die, then I die. And if I don't, then I don't. Right now I feel good. I am aware that in some of my recent photos I look somewhat unhealthy, but that's what illness can do. I'm not going to worry about that, I'll rest when I'm dead."
Continue reading: Morrissey Gives Two Fingers to Cancer, "If I Die, I Die."
The former Smiths frontman has been battling poor health as of late.
Singer Morrissey has announced he’s undergone a series of cancer treatments, after suffering with poor health for the past 18 months. In an interview with Spanish magazine El Mundo, the 55 year old was quoted as saying, “If I die, then I die. And if I don’t, then I don’t.”
Morrissey has revealed he’s undergone a series of cancer treatments.
The iconic Smiths frontman said doctors had “scraped cancerous tissues’ four times”, but did not reveal what form of the disease he was being treated for. “Right now I feel good,” the singer said. “I am aware that in some of my recent photos I look somewhat unhealthy, but that’s what illness can do. I’m not going to worry about that, I’ll rest when I’m dead.”
Continue reading: Morrissey Reveals He Has Undergone Cancer Treatment
Morrissey has endured a rough couple of weeks, but he's heading out on tour.
Despite enduring one of the most difficult periods of his career, Morrissey has announced an extensive European tour with dates in the UK, including a show at London's O2 Arena in November. The singer will play the capital on November 29.
Morrissey claims Harvest botched the release of his latest album
A post on the fan-site True To You outlined the details of the tour, which also passes through Italy, Portugal, Austria, Germany, Poland, Sweden and Denmark. The tour will come as somewhat of a surprise to fans, given the chaos of the past couple of weeks. Last week, the singer claimed he had been dropped by his label Harvest, though executive refuted the claims and denied they had ended the contract. Morrissey's album World Peace is None of Your Business has been removed from US iTunes and Spotify.
Continue reading: Dropped or Not, Morrissey Announces European Tour with UK Dates