For almost a decade Morrissey has been an enthusiastic supporter of Kristeen Young, a rising American singer he picked to be his support act.
But the former Smiths frontman has once again displayed his talent for making enemies – after he tried to blame Young for giving him the cold which has forced him to cancel his US tour.
Morrissey has scrapped the concerts, including a keenly anticipated appearance with Sir Cliff Richard in New York, blaming a respiratory infection and “acute fever” he claims that he caught from Young. Morrissey, 55, was taken to hospital in Boston in the middle of the 30-day tour.
A statement on the semi-official fan site True-To-You pointed the finger at Young, a New York-based singer Morrissey discovered in 2006, who was the rare recipient of staunch praise in his autobiography, published last year. “Difficulties had arisen on 31 May following Kristeen Young’s opening set at the Miami Knight Concert Hall, after which Kristeen confessed to ‘a horrendous cold’, the symptoms of which were passed on to Morrissey resulting in the cancellation of the next show in Atlanta,” the statement read. “For the good of all, Kristeen was asked to step down from the upcoming shows, but she decided to leave the tour entirely.”
However, the medical attention Morrissey received “was not enough to shake off the virus, the recovery time for which is too long to meet the final nine shows of the tour”.
Young fiercely contests Morrissey’s account. In a Facebook post, she wrote: “I did not ‘confess to a horrendous cold’. On Monday, 2 June, I had an allergy attack that was over within 16 hours. I went to a doctor. He gave me drugs and they worked.”
She offered a doctor’s note proving her ailment to Morrissey but this was rejected and she was asked to leave the tour. “I am very sorry that Morrissey is not feeling well,” Young wrote but she said she would “not tolerate” stories about her health. “This is really too much and bizarre.”
Morrissey praised Young, who has worked with David Bowie, in his memoirs, writing: “The solid fixity of her presentation is as striking as having a safe drop on your head from a tenth-floor window.”
Asked about her relationship with Morrissey last month, she said: “I continue to be inspired by him and I believe it is very mutual.”
Morrissey cancelled 22 US gigs last year owing to ill health. The tour precedes the release of, World Peace is None of Your Business. Last month, he was involved in a spat with Scottish band PAWS, who were not even playing at his concert. He allegedly demanded that PAWS be removed from a concert because they were playing in a neighbouring room and he feared their loud music would drown out his performance. We Are Scientists, the headliners at the concert next door, tweeted “the reason Morrissey doesn’t want competing noise is that it might clue people into what singing in tune is like.”