People Want Rick Astley to Replace Morrissey in the Smiths After Hearing His Cover of "This Charming Man"

The '80s pop icon performed the classic hit with Blossoms at the London Forum

BY Allie GregoryPublished Sep 15, 2021

Fans of the Smiths — with emotional bruises bigger than dinner plates — have had to contend with the group's problematic frontman Morrissey for far too long, and while some have continued to support the band amid Moz's many controversies, some have done away with listening to the group altogether. Now, a third option for listening to the band's undeniably excellent catalogue has become available — and it's all thanks to '80s pop icon Rick Astley.

As seen in concert footage obtained by Far Out Magazine, we can now imagine a world in which Astley fronts the Smiths — thanks to his incredible cover of "This Charming Man," performed with Blossoms at the London Forum earlier this week.

The reaction to the performance has been overwhelmingly positive, with many fans noting on Twitter that they're finally able to enjoy the music of the Smiths without feeling a sense of guilt for supporting Morrissey.

UPDATE (9/17, 1:13 p.m. ET): Former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr has responded to Astley's cover, calling it "both funny and horrible at the same time."

As one user put it: "Really hope Rick Astley hasn't said anything racist about Chinese people, because this is the first time I've enjoyed this song without complicated emotions in years."

Laura Jane Grace even chimed in, writing, "Mind blowing how in 2021 Rick Astley is infinitely cooler than Morrissey. Never would have predicted this 20 years ago. The wheel keeps on turning."

See hers and others' reactions to Astley's excellent cover — as well as Blossoms' and Astley's rehearsal footage for an upcoming run of Smiths covers performance in England — below.

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