What Kind of Celebrity Tweeter Will Morrissey Be? Lessons From Cher, James Woods, Donald Trump and Many More

Morrissey
Morrissey performs at the V Festival in Hylands Park in Chelmsford, England, on August 20, 2006. The singer's former band the Smiths have a warning about Donald Trump. Jo Hale/Getty

Morrissey, a pop star famous for writing songs about being depressed, became active on Twitter this week, which should be sufficient to keep him depressed for quite a while.

Here are his cryptic first two tweets. (The first one turns out to be the title of the first single from his upcoming album, Low in High School, which arrives in November.)

Spent the day in bed...

— Morrissey (@officialmoz) September 18, 2017

OR WA CA AZ UT CO MO IL MI DC NY PA MA

— Morrissey (@officialmoz) September 19, 2017

For longtime fans, the thought of Morrissey tweeting is exhilaratingly full of possibility: What on earth will the ex-Smiths frontman tweet about?

We put together this taxonomy of celebrity Twitters to help the Moz carve out his social media approach.

1. The Boring, Sanitized Promotional Twitter Run by a PR Team
Examples:
Tom Waits, Hillary Clinton, Paul McCartney, U2, too many others to mention
Sample tweet:

.@AntiRecords has posted a playlist of Waits’ music from Grammy-winning Mule Variations to Bad As Me on @AppleMusic: https://t.co/LBwwI2Gk18

— Tom Waits (ANTI-) (@tomwaits) April 22, 2016

In theory, following Tom Waits on Twitter sounds incredible. Imagine Waits tweeting out selfies of himself gargling bourbon with drifters and mules and whatever variety of circus characters with whom he surrounds himself. In reality, it's pretty boring: The singer's Twitter account is outsourced to ANTI- Records and doesn't have his voice. This is what happens when highly distinctive celebrities don't want to be bothered with Twitter (understandable!) and let their PR team handle it.

Judging from Morrissey‏'s promotional tweet urging fans to preorder his new album, this might be what we can expect from his Twitter.

2. The Dirty-Laundry-Airing Shit-Talker Gone Rogue
Examples:
Kanye West (before he deleted his Twitter), Liam Gallagher, Donald Trump
Sample tweet:

That gobshite out of blur might have turned noel Gallagher into a massive girl but believe you me nxt time i see him there's gonna be war

— Liam Gallagher (@liamgallagher) April 28, 2017

Remember that time Kanye West got into an ugly Twitter beef with Wiz Khalifa and wound up tweeting to millions of fans about his disinterest in anal play? Or the time our president attacked a female talk show host on Twitter by accusing her of "bleeding badly from a face-lift"?

This is the Twitter approach for celebrities who like to air their beefs as publicly and aggressively as possible. Morrissey does love to talk trash about everyone from Trump to the Queen to Lady Gaga, but he's more dignified by nature; he prefers to communicate in wordy statements and verbose open letters and "Morrissey-isms." Twitter, with its crude character limit and utter lack of nuance, will be a strange venue for him.

3. The Surrealist Celebrity Twitter That Creates Its Own Bizarre Language
Examples:
Cher, Prince (RIP)
Sample tweet:

✨🎉✨🎁✨👻✨🎂✨💖✨

— Cher (@cher) August 18, 2017

In 300 years, linguists will still be studying Cher's Twitter account for clues. The pop icon has created her own distinct language of tweeting, which involves heavy emoji usage, erratic use of all-caps, hysterical responses to her haters and the occasional replacement of Trump's name with the toilet emoji. Morrissey seems too brooding and too verbose for this euphoric style of tweeting; it is difficult to imagine him using one emoji, much less many of them.

4. The Cause-Oriented Celebrity Twitter Account
Examples:
Leonardo DiCaprio, Thom Yorke, Emma Watson
Sample tweet:

Thank you @JohnKerry for hosting today's #YaleClimateConference. We must all work together to combat #climatechange. https://t.co/hQz26KOZe5

— Leonardo DiCaprio (@LeoDiCaprio) September 19, 2017

You know the type: the celebrity who tweets about their favorite political cause—whether it's climate change, human rights or feminism—instead of the thing that they're famous for. Morrissey is well known for championing animal rights and vegetarianism; it's entirely possible that he'll tweet about his hatred of the meat industry.

5. The Motivational, Inspirational Celebrity Twitter
Examples:
Lil B, Andrew W.K, Big Boi
Sample tweet:

PARTY TIP: Life isn't about waiting for the rain to pass. It's about partying hard in the rain and getting wet.

— ANDREW W.K. (@AndrewWK) July 7, 2017

Andrew W.K.'s party tip tweets dispense wisdom and inspiration in tiny nuggets of Zen-like comfort. (My personal favorite is this one.) That said, motivational coach really isn't Morrissey's style.

Related: The Smiths' Record Store Day vinyl is etched with a Donald Trump warning

6. The Informal, Fan-Oriented Celebrity Twitter
Examples:
Andy Partridge (of XTC), David Crosby, Mike Mills (of R.E.M.)
Sample tweet:

Like most people I know who've met him I think he's an asshole https://t.co/yIkkJIizLp

— David Crosby (@thedavidcrosby) February 4, 2016

You can ask David Crosby pretty much any question on Twitter and he'll respond candidly. His opinion of Mike Love? ("An asshole.") His thoughts on Ted Nugent not being in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? ("The asshole just isn't good enough.") His wealth? ("wish I had one million let alone 40.") Andy Partridge, meanwhile, does long tweetstorms where he shares trivia about old XTC records.

This style of tweeting is loose and conversational, directed more at the hardcore fans than the general masses. It's hard to imagine Morrissey has the time or the interest to engage with his many hardcore fans all day.

7. The Super-Relatable, I'm-Just-Like-You Celebrity Twitter
Examples:
Maggie Gyllenhaal, Taylor Swift before she deleted her old tweets
Sample tweet:

Oh man, listening to @TheNational while cleaning up my kitchen, in the rain. It's like the pleasure and sorrow of heartbreak all over again

— Maggie Gyllenhaal (@mgyllenhaal) September 3, 2017

Taylor Swift used to tweet excitedly about all her friends' birthdays. Gyllenhaal tweets about listening to The National and cleaning her kitchen. Demi Lovato tweets about flight delays. Madonna (whose Twitter is usually way too weird to fit in this category) tweets about not getting a FedEx package delivered.

Celebrities: they're just like us! Well, Morrissey isn't. He's Morrissey.

8. The When-Did-This-Person-Transform-Into-a-Right-Wing-Lunatic? Celebrity Twitter
Examples:
James Woods
Sample tweet:

I think #Trump held back on indicting #Hillary as a way to move forward from the horror of the #Obama years. Now it's gloves off. #LockHerUp

— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) May 18, 2017

James Woods once filed a lawsuit against an anonymous Twitter user who called him a "cocaine addict" and later vowed to quit the platform in protest after it suspended "alt-right" users like Richard Spencer. (Woods eventually returned to his impressive regimen of daily tweeting.)

This is probably not the celebrity Twitter approach Morrissey's PR team has in mind.

9. The Celebrity Couple Always Being Cute and Tweeting About Each Other
Examples:
John Legend and Chrissy Teigen
Sample tweet:

I always have a note in my pocket that says "john did it" just in case I'm murdered because I don't want him to remarry #truelove #tips

— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) August 30, 2014

Morrissey? Celebrity couple? Does not compute.

10. The What-Is-Going-On-Here Celebrity Twitter
Examples:
Tom Hanks, Cher (again)
Sample tweet:

Beside the road. In the gravel, weeds and rocks. A workman's glove. Was it lost? Or tossed? Think about THAT! Hanx. pic.twitter.com/v9pMrw9fpF

— Tom Hanks (@tomhanks) August 13, 2017

Tom Hanks tweets a lot of pictures of gloves. Six-fingered gloves. Gardening gloves. Why gloves? I don't know. Sometimes he tweets images of flip flops or umbrellas. I support it. Embrace the mystery.

Morrissey's first tweet (which turned out to be a song title) has a similarly cryptic, bewildering air to it:

Spent the day in bed...

— Morrissey (@officialmoz) September 18, 2017

Welcome to Twitter, Morrissey. The gloves are off.