Steven Patrick Morrissey (born 22 May 1959), known mononymously as Morrissey, is an English singer, songwriter and author. He rose to prominence as the frontman of the Smiths, who were active from 1982 to 1987. Since then, Morrissey has had a solo career, making the top ten of the UK Singles Chart on ten occasions and reaching number one on the UK Albums Chart three times.
Born in Davyhulme, Lancashire, to a working-class Irish family, Morrissey grew up in Manchester. As a child he developed a love of literature, kitchen sink realism and popular music. Involved in Manchester’s punk rock scene during the late 1970s, he fronted the Nosebleeds, with little success. Beginning a career in music journalism, he authored a number of books on music and film in the early 1980s. With Johnny Marr he established the Smiths in 1982, soon attracting national recognition for their self-titled debut album. As the band’s frontman, Morrissey attracted attention for an unconventional yet expressive baritone voice, his witty and sardonic lyrics and his idiosyncratic appearance; deliberately avoiding rock machismo, he cultivated the aesthetic of a social outsider who eschewed drugs and embraced celibacy. The Smiths released three further albumsÔÇöincluding the critically acclaimed Meat Is Murder and The Queen Is DeadÔÇöand had a string of hit singles. Personal differences between Morrissey and Marr resulted in the break-up of the Smiths in 1987.