FORMER Smiths frontman Morrissey says he has been treated for cancer and hinted he might be ready to retire from music.
Morrissey, one of Britain’s most celebrated musicians, has hinted he might be ready to retire after revealing how he has undergone a series of cancer treatments.
The 55-year-old – who shot to fame as the frontman and lyricist with seminal rock band The Smiths – described how doctors had “scraped cancerous tissues” four times after being hospitalised a number of times in the past 18 months.
However, the Manchester-born singer said that he feels fine at the moment, and hopes that the publication of his debut novel will allow him to “stop singing forever”.
In an interview with Spanish newspaper El Mundo, the vocalist was candid about the medical procedures he has been through recently, but stressed he was not fearful of the disease.
“They have scraped cancerous tissues from me four times already, but who cares,” he said.
“If I die, then I die. And if not, then I don’t. Right now I feel good. I am aware that, in recent photos, I look unwell, but that is what illness does. I’m not going to worry about that, I’ll rest when I’m dead.”
The vocalist, who has a loyal international fanbase thanks to his work with The Smiths and his successful career as a solo artist, cancelled a string of concerts in the United States this year.
Last year, Morrissey was diagnosed with a bleeding ulcer, followed by double pneumonia and a bout of food poisoning.
In June this year, meanwhile, he suffered a respiratory infection.
In March 2013, he said that his doctors had suggested he quit touring altogether for the sake of his health, but he rejected their advice to stop doing “the best thing you can do in life”.
In the El Mundo interview, however, he admitted that he was “now at an age when I should no longer be making music”.
He explained: “Many composers of classical music died at age 34. And I’m still here, and nobody knows what to do with me. The audience that I have is very young, which leads me to think that the songs of The Smiths, as with those of The Ramones, are more significant now than before.”
Although he was dropped earlier this year by record label Harvest Records, Morrissey released World Peace Is None of Your Business, his first solo album in five years, in July.
Currently on tour in Europe, he started writing a novel after the unexpected success of his memoirs.
The book, he told the newspaper, was coming along well, and the prospect of becoming a full-time writer is something that appeals to him.
“My novel is coming along well, but it would be presumptuous of me to talk about something that is not finalised yet. It will probably be published next year and with luck I will be able to stop singing forever, which would make many people happy.”
Morrissey also used the interview to make characteristically outspoken attacks.
His targets included the Royal Family, the Beckhams and the BBC for its reporting of the referendum on Scottish independence.
“The BBC did everything possible to tilt the vote toward No and never reported on the potential benefits of an independent Scotland,” he said.
“They speak in the name of democracy only when it suits them.”
Discussing the Beckhams, he said: “I do not hate people, I am a kind and sensitive man, but I cannot stand David and Victoria Beckham. The tragic importance that the British media give this couple is what has made us a nation of zombies. They are nothing, but their egos are abnormally overdeveloped.”
As news of his health problems broke, Morrissey’s fans took to social media to wish him a quick recovery.
On Twitter, Shannon Marsh wrote “Get well soon you grumpy old man,” while another user, Fin, stated: “Get well soon, Morrissey. There is a light that never goes out.”