Morrissey has condemned former record label Capitol for promoting the increasingly controversial Sam Smith while abandoning plans to release his latest LP.
The former Smiths singer intended to release Bonfire Of Teenagers, his fifteenth solo album, in February, but Capitol shelved the project following his decision to voluntarily leave the label two months earlier.
Featuring collaborations with punk legend Iggy Pop and rock band Red Hot Chilli Peppers, the album is understood to embrace contemporary social and political themes, with its title track a response to the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017.
Twenty-three people were killed and 1,017 were injured, many of them children, when Islamic suicide bomber Salman Ramadan Abedi detonated a bomb during an Ariana Grande concert at the venue.
Morrissey, 63, has since accused Capitol of hypocrisy for championing Smith, whose four albums to date – including the recently released Gloria – have all been backed by Capitol.
The Mancunian star also cited Smith’s divisive appearance at the 65th annual Grammy Awards, during which he performed hit single Unholy with transgender collaborator Kim Petras, as an example of the label’s perceived double standards.
Smith and Petras sparked dozens of complaints to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for their ‘anti-Christian’ stance during a sexually charged performance, accompanied by dozens of backing dancers dressed in devil costumes.
Not happy: Morrissey has condemned former record label Capitol for promoting the increasingly controversial Sam Smith while abandoning plans to release his latest album
Posting a statement on his official website, Morrissey wrote: ‘Capitol Records (Los Angeles) proudly promotes Sam Smith’s ‘satanism’; yet they consider the honest truth of Morrissey’s factual ‘Bonfire of Teenagers’ to be their biggest threat and they will not release it despite their contractual obligation and promise to do so.’
Smith, who identifies as non-binary and uses they/them pronouns, took to the stage at the annual awards show dressed in red with a horned top hat, as they performed their chart-topping song in front of stars including Beyoncé and Dr Dre.
In one of the FCC complaints, a viewer said they were canceling their TV service because of the performance.
‘I will be canceling my television service due to this,’ one complaint obtained by the outlet reads.
Other viewers described the display as ‘anti-Christian,’ and said it has the potential to ‘increase violence against Christians.’
Speaking out: Morrissey has accused his former label of hypocrisy for championing Smith, whose four albums to date have all been released by Capitol
Devilish: The Mancunian star also cited Smith’s divisive performance at the 65th annual Grammy Awards as an example of the label’s perceived double standards
Morrissey ‘voluntarily’ left Capital, as well as his management company, in December 2022, a year after signing a deal with them.
A previous statement on his website read: ‘Morrissey is ‘too diverse’ for Universal Music Group. Capitol Records (Los Angeles) will not, after all, release Morrissey’s 2021 album Bonfire Of Teenagers.
‘At the same time, Capitol Records (Los Angeles) are holding on to the album.
‘Although Morrissey officially signed to Capitol Records Los Angeles, there has been no mention of Morrissey on Capitol’s website or on their Artists roster.
‘Morrissey has said that although he does not believe that Capitol Records in Los Angeles signed Bonfire of Teenagers in order to sabotage it, he is quickly coming around to that belief.’
Controversy: Smith and collaborator Kim Petras sparked dozens of complaints to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for their ‘anti-Christian’ stance at the event
His say: Morrissey ‘voluntarily’ left Capitol, as well as his management company, in December 2022, a year after signing a deal with them
The post linked to an article on Medium written by Fiona Dodwell, which argued Morrissey’s current unsigned status ‘proves a lack of true diversity in music’.
She wrote: ‘He has been continuously criticised and crucified in the press for being frank and outspoken.
‘Seen in this light, it seems being ‘diverse’ nowadays really means to conform – or face being rejected.
‘You can be diverse, but only this way, not that way,’ the small print seems to say.’
The singer previously sparked controversy after reaffirming his support for far-right party For Britain while also claiming ‘everyone prefers their own race’.
He also said he believed Nigel Farage would ‘make a good prime minister’, sparking criticism of the former The Smiths frontman on social media.
Morrissey has repeatedly denied accusations of racism but had promotional posters for 2019 album California Son removed from Merseyrail services as a single customer complained about his religious views.
He also stirred up more controversy that year by appearing on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in the US while wearing a badge supporting For Britain, which has called for the ‘end of Islamisation of the UK
On hold: The singer had planned to release Bonfire Of Teenagers this month but announced in November it had been delayed, with no new release date offered
Morrissey was previously dropped by BMG in 2020, just months after he released his last album, I Am Not A Dog On A Chain.
Teasing the album, he said: ‘The worst year of my life concludes with the best album of my life.’
Upon hearing he had been let go by BMG, Morrissey said it was “perfectly in keeping with the relentless galvanic horror of 2020.”
He wrote at the time: ‘This is perfectly in keeping with the relentless galvanic horror of 2020. We would be critically insane to expect anything positive.
‘My three albums with BMG have been the best of my career, and I stand by them till death. Recording them has been a pivotal period in my life, and I thank the previous BMG team and everyone involved for that.
‘It’s still important to me to do music my own way, and I wouldn’t want to be on a label that dictates so specifically how their artists should behave – especially when the word ‘talent’ is notably never mentioned.’
Issues: Morrissey was previously dropped by BMG in 2020, just months after he released his last album, I Am Not A Dog On A Chain
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk