Steven Patrick Morrissey is better known in the music industry as Morrissey. He is an English singer, songwriter, and author. He gained popularity as the vocalist of rock band the Smiths from 1982 to 1987. Since then, he has gone on to pursue a successful solo career. Morrissey's music is notorious because of his baritone voice and unique lyrics with recurring themes of emotional loneliness, sexual desire, self-deprecating and dark humor, and unconventional stances.
Morrissey was born in Davyhulme, Lancashire, grew up in nearby Manchester. His parent were Irish immigrants. Growing up, his love of literature, kitchen sink realism, and 1960s pop music emerged. Morrissey fronted a punk rock band called the Nosebleeds in the late 1970’s. He had little success with this band and thus began a career in music journalism and he wrote several books on music and film in the early 1980s. Morrissey and Johnny Marr created the Smiths in 1982. The band soon gained national recognition for their self-titled debut album. As the band's vocalist and frontman, Morrissey attracted attention for his trademark witty and sarcastic lyrics. He avoided the aggressive rock masculinity that typically comes with being a part of a band in the genre by painting himself as a sexually ambiguous social outsider who celebrated celibacy. The Smiths released three more studio albums, Meat Is Murder, The Queen Is Dead, and Strangeways, Here We Come. They also released a multitude of hit singles. The Smiths became critically acclaimed and their popularity in the mainstream influenced an increasing cult fanbase. The band dissolved in 1987 due to personal differences between Morrissey and Marr.
Morrissey started his solo career in 1988 with an album named Viva Hate. This album along with his next releases, Kill Uncle, Your Arsenal, and Vauxhall and I, all were immensely popular on the UK Albums charts. This popularity also produced many hit singles. Alain Whyte and Boz Boorer replaced Marr as his main co-writers. During this stage of his career, his image morphed into that of a brawnier personality who made fun of misogyny and patriotic imagery. He released the albums Southpaw Grammar and Maladjusted in the 1990’s and they also made it on the UK Albums Charts but were largely confounded. Morrissey took a musical hiatus, after moving to Los Angeles, from 1998 to 2003. In 2004, he released a highly successful comeback album, You Are the Quarry. The next coming years saw the release of albums Ringleader of the Tormentors, Years of Refusal, World Peace Is None of Your Business, Low in High School, California Son, and I Am Not a Dog on a Chain. He also wrote and released his autobiography and his debut novel, List of the Lost.
Morrissey has been accredited as an influential figure in the blossoming of indie rock and Britpop. He is quite outspoken and opinionated thus deemed controversial. He has endorsed vegetarianism and animal rights, criticizes royalty and prominent politicians, and defending a particular vision of English national identity while critiquing the effect of immigration on the UK. In a 2006 poll for the BBC's Culture Show, Morrissey was voted the second-greatest living British cultural icon.
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