Thelma Houston Joins Morrissey On New Single, Says “I Don’t Believe Morrissey Is Racist”

Morrissey has announced a new album called I Am Not A Dog On A Chain due for release in March, his first collection of new material since 2017’s Low In High School. The new LP is produced by recent Moz mainstay Joe Chicarelli, who has helmed all of his albums since 2014’s World Peace Is None Of Your Business, and its lead single “Bobby, Don’t You Think They Know?” is out now. It’s a duet with the veteran gospel, soul, and disco singer Thelma Houston (no relation to Whitney), who hit #1 and won a Grammy with 1977’s “Don’t Leave Me This Way.”

Appearing on a song with Morrissey is a controversial move on Houston’s part because lately his actions — wearing a pin promoting the far-right anti-immigrant group For Britain on Fallon, for instance — have amplified the common perception that he’s racist, a charge Moz has denied.

When reached for comment by Pitchfork, Houston had this to say:

I don’t believe Morrissey is racist. And I got involved with this track because I’ve known about his music for quite some time. Back in 2012, I was collaborating with an artist named Gabe Noel, and he suggested we try some covers. And when he mentioned a Morrissey song called “Suedehead,” as soon as I heard ‘it was a good lay’ lyric – I laughed and was like… Ok let’s cut it!

Morrissey and Houston’s duet is available to stream below.

I Am Not A Dog On A Chain is out 3/20 on BMG.