Morrissey (born Steven Patrick Morrissey May 22, 1959) is an English singer and lyricist. He rose to prominence in the 1980s as the lyricist and vocalist of the alternative rock band The Smiths. The band was highly successful in the United Kingdom but broke up in 1987, and Morrissey began a solo career. He is noted for his unique baritone vocal style (though he sometimes uses falsetto), his quiff haircut and his dynamic live performances. His forthright, often contrarian opinions, especially on the subject of race, have led to a number of media controversies, and he has also attracted media attention for his advocacy of vegetarianism and animal rights.
Morrissey's first two solo singles –“Suedehead” and “Everyday Is Like Sunday” – released in early 1988 both reached the U.K. Top 10, while his 1988 debut album, “Viva Hate” from which they were taken was also successful, reaching the #1 spot on the U.K. Albums chart. From 1989 to 1991 he released five non-album singles which all made the U.K. Top 20.
His second album, 1991’s “Kill Uncle,” also reached the U.K. Top 10, while his next four singles – two which were taken from “Kill Uncle” and two non-album singles – only reached the lower end of the U.K. Top 40.
In 1992 his third album, “Your Arsenal,” again reached the U.K. Top 10. In 1992 five singles were released from “Your Arsenal,” the first three being released globally and two only in the United States.
Having used different producers for his first three albums, Morrissey then teamed up with Steve Lillywhite for his next three – 1994’s “Vauxhall and I,” 1995’s “Southpaw Grammar” and 1997’s “Maladjusted.” “Vauxhall and I” was another successful album, being Morrissey's second to reach #1 on the U.K. Albums chart. “Southpaw Grammar” and “Maladjusted” were also successful, both reaching the U.K. Top 10. Morrissey released 11 singles during this time, one of which – 1994's “Interlude” – was a duet with English singer Siouxsie Sioux. Of these singles only two broke the U.K. Top 20 – “The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get” in 1994, which reached #8 in the U.K. and #46 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart, and “Alma Matters,” which reached #16.
After a nearly seven-year hiatus, Morrissey released his seventh solo album, 2004’s “You Are the Quarry,” which reached #2 on the U.K. Albums chart. It was also his most successful album in the United States where it reached #11 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. The four singles taken from “You Are the Quarry” were also successful, all reaching the U.K. Top 10.
Morrissey's eighth album, 2006’s “Ringleader of the Tormentors,” became his third album to reach the top of the U.K. Albums chart. Four singles were released from “Ringleader of the Tormentors” – the first reached #3 on the U.K. Singles cChart and the others reached the U.K. Top 20. Two more singles were released in 2008, one of which reached the U.K. Top 20.
Morrissey's album, “Years of Refusal,” was released in February 2009, and reached #3 in the U.K. and #11 in the United States. Two more singles were released from this album, one of which charted in the U.K. Top 40.