Steven Patrick Morrissey (pronounced /?m?r?si/; born 22 May 1959), known primarily as Morrissey, is a British singer-songwriter. After a short stint in the punk rock band The Nosebleeds in the late 1970s, he rose to prominence in the 1980s as the lyricist and vocalist of the alternative rock band The Smiths. After the band's breakup in 1987, Morrissey began a solo career, in which he continued the jangle pop sound of The Smiths. Morrissey's solo albums have garnered ten Top 10 singles in the United Kingdom. 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 that "most pop stars have to be dead before they reach the iconic status that 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."