Many people traditionally send out a list of positive things they’ve experienced over the past year as part of their holiday greeting cards, but Morrissey used Christmas as an occasion to spread some bad news about his career, putting a cap on what already seemed to be something of an annus horribilis for the polarizing pop star.
In messages posted to his website on Dec. 23-24, the British singer first announced that he’d split with his label, Capitol Records, before it even had a chance to release any music from him — then added that Miley Cyrus had asked to be removed from the finished album that’s currently sitting in limbo.
A page posted on his site on Christmas Eve under the heading “Miley Is a Punk Rocker” showed Morrissey posting with Cyrus in the studio during more harmonious times. The caption read, “Miley Cyrus now wants to be taken off the song ‘I Am Veronica’ for which she volunteered backing vocals almost two years ago. This comes at a time when Morrissey has disassociated himself with Capitol Records (Los Angeles), who control the hidden album ‘Bonfire of Teenagers’. Above, Morrissey and Miley during Miley’s session for ‘I Am Veronica.’”
The previous day, a message was posted under the headline “Roll On 2023” with the message: “Morrissey has voluntarily parted company with Maverick/Quest management. Morrissey has also voluntarily withdrawn from any association with Capitol Records (Los Angeles).”
In November, Morrissey had posted that his album, “Bonfire of Teenagers,” which was supposed to be released in February 2023, was no longer on the schedule, and noted, ““Its fate is exclusively in the hands of Capitol Records (Los Angeles).” Reports said the Andrew Watt-produced album had been in the can for a year and a half.
Morrissey made international news in early November when he walked off stage at L.A.’s Greek Theatre only about a half-hour into the show, without any explanation to the startled audience.
On Christmas Day, he followed his announcements about being severed from Cyrus and Capitol with a less dour message, posting the lyrics “And all the things that I have seen qualify me for a part in your dreams,” and re-sharing the video for the three-year-old music video for his cover of Melanie’s “Some Say I Got Devil.”
The ex-Smiths frontman has increasingly alienated some of his former fans and colleagues in recent years with the rightward tilt in his many of his political and racial statements. Among other risible statements, Morrissey posted an interview on his website in 2019 in which he said, “Everyone ultimately prefers their own race … does this make everyone racist?” Summing up his constantly making waves in the British press with statements many consider outrageous, Morrissey said, “I’m only attacked by people who don’t have the emotional ability to ignore me. … It’s against the law to be intelligent! The dumb have inherited the earth.”