Morrissey (born May 22, 1959), professionally known as Morrissey (sometimes abbreviated to Moz by fans), is a singer and songwriter from Manchester, England, who rose to prominence as the vocalist of the highly influential British rock group The Smiths. When the band broke up in 1987, Morrissey began a successful solo career and has had the distinction of charting top ten British singles in three separate decades.
Morrissey is often noted as one of the key pop lyricists of his generation, with many subsequent bands hailing his influence. Detractors usually describe his work as depressing, while fans point to the sardonic humour which underpins his songs' frequent references to alienation and failed love. He does not shy from controversy in his songs. Themes which he has touched on include child murder, gang violence, domestic violence, prostitution, racism, drug use, homosexuality, disability, assassination, and terrorism. A celebration of the outsider is a constant theme in his work. He has been stereotyped as appealing to shy teenagers, and his work has been said to glorify working-class criminality.