Steven Patrick Morrissey (born 22 May 1959), known primarily as Morrissey, is an English lyricist and singer. 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 UK but broke up in 1987, and Morrissey began a solo career, making the top ten of the UK Singles Chart in the United Kingdom on ten occasions. Widely regarded as an important innovator in indie music, Morrissey has been described by music magazine NME as "one of the most influential artists ever," and The Independent has stated "most pop stars have to be dead before they reach the iconic status he has reached in his lifetime." Pitchfork Media has called him "one of the most singular figures in Western popular culture from the last 20 years."Morrissey's lyrics have been described as "dramatic, bleak, funny vignettes about doomed relationships, lonely nightclubs, the burden of the past and the prison of the home." He is also noted for his unique baritone vocal style, though he's known to use falsetto for emphasis. 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. He has also been noted for his quiff haircut as well as his performance style of his early years.