When Morrissey blamed Beyoncé for the near-extinction of the rhinoceros at a Los Angeles show last week – "The rhino is now more or less extinct, and it's not because of global warming or shrinking habitats. It's because of Beyoncé's handbags" – it was only the latest in a decades-long series of pointedly provocative comments by the ex-Smiths singer and animal rights activist. Earlier in the week, Morrissey refused to appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live! because the cast of pro-hunting reality series Duck Dynasty were slated to be fellow guests. Kimmel bashed Morrissey on the show and aired a parody Duck cast-as-vegans clip; Morrissey responded in typically withering fashion, saying Kimmel "found time to jokingly promote gun-ownership – hugely amusing for the parents at Sandy Hook, no doubt" and claiming that "Jimmy Kimmel himself has finally revealed his show to have an overwhelming loss of meaning."
But animal rights is only one of Morrissey's pet issues. The singer also has a history of lashing out at the British royal family – and pretty much anything and anyone else he feels like. Some of his outbursts have drawn accusations of racism; others, merely poor taste. And some are just funny. Here are Morrissey's most vicious disses, bon mots and general nastiness:
2013: Morrissey refers to David and Victoria Beckham as "The Peckhams," describes them as "insufferable" and says they should be "dragged to the edge of the village and flogged."
2012: Morrissey links the suicide of a London nurse to the Duchess Kate Middleton. "There's no blame placed at Kate Middleton, who was in the hospital for, as far as I can see, absolutely no reason . . . She feels no shame about the death of this woman. The arrogance of the British royals is staggering, absolutely staggering."
2012: Morrissey has his band wear "We Hate William and Kate" shirts onstage.
2012: In an open letter to his fan club, Morrissey rips into the "blustering jingoism" of the London Olympics, comparing the mood in the U.K. to Nazi Germany. "The 'dazzling royals' have, quite naturally, hijacked the Olympics for their own empirical needs, and no oppositional voice is allowed in the free press. . . The spirit of 1939 Germany now pervades throughout media-brand Britain."
2011: In an interview with Billboard, Morrissey calls Lady Gaga "nothing new" and says her style is "fraudulent, and the exact opposite of erotic." He also refers to Madonna as "McDonna" and says Michael Bublé is "famous and meaningless."
2011: Of the Norway massacre in which 77 people died, Morrissey heralds to a Warsaw crowd, "That is nothing compared to what happens in McDonald's and Kentucky Fried shit every day."
2010: Discussing animal cruelty in China, Morrissey tells The Guardian, "You can't help but feel that the Chinese people are a subspecies."
2009: Morrissey leaves the stage at Coachella, explaining "The smell of burning animals is making me sick. I can smell burning flesh . . . and I hope to God it's human."
2002: From documentary The Importance of Being Morrissey: "Bring me the head of Elton John . . . which is one instance in which meat would not be murder, if it were served on a plate."
1997: Morrissey bashes Madonna again. "Madonna reinforces everything absurd and offensive. Desperate womanhood. Madonna is closer to organized prostitution than anything else."
1994: When asked about an incident in which an Australian student shot a starting pistol at the Prince of Wales, Morrissey responds, "I wish that Prince Charles had been shot. I think it would have made the world a more interesting place."
1992: Morrissey knocks dance music. "It's the refuge for the mentally deficient. It's made by dull people for dull people."
1985: Morrissey slams the charity group Band Aid and its co-founder. "Bob Geldof is a nauseating character. Band Aid was the most self-righteous platform ever in the history of popular music."
1984: Morrissey blasts the Cure. "Robert Smith is a whingebag."
1984: Morrissey laments the failed assassination attempt on Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher after the Brighton hotel bombing. "The sorrow of the IRA Brighton bombing is that Thatcher escaped unscathed."Morrissey's 15 Most Outrageous Quotes