Matt Morris (musician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Matt Morris
Morris in June 2008
Background information
Birth name Matthew Burton Morris
Born (1979-05-09) May 9, 1979 (age 35)
Genres Alternative, pop, rock
Occupation(s) singer-songwriter, musician, recording artist, performer, religion blogger
Instruments vocals, guitar, piano, bass
Years active 1991–present
Labels unsigned

Matthew Burton "Matt" Morris (also known as Teo Bishop, born May 9, 1979) is an American pop artist, songwriter and religion blogger. He is the son of country music star Gary Morris. He achieved early fame when he appeared on The Disney Channel television series The All-New Mickey Mouse Club, A.K.A. MMC in the early 1990s, where he was a cast member from 1991 to 1996 (Seasons 4–7). Here he met future collaborators Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera, along with future celebrities Britney Spears, Ryan Gosling, Chasen Hampton, Keri Russell, and JC Chasez. Morris first experienced success as a songwriter in the early 2000s. Morris collaborated with Aguilera on her 2002 RCA Records, "Stripped", co-writing five songs with Aguilera and producer Scott Storch, including the hit "Can't Hold Us Down".[1] Another of their collaborations, "Miss Independent", went on to become a number one hit for American Idol winner, Kelly Clarkson. Morris continued his success in songwriting by co-writing with Timberlake the song "Another Song (All Over Again)" for Timberlake's second solo album, FutureSex/LoveSounds (2006). The track was produced by Rick Rubin, and the album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart. Morris co-wrote with Timberlake a song for Reba McEntire's Reba: Duets album,[2] which McEntire sang with Timberlake. Most recently, Morris co-wrote the song "Woman's World", the first single from Cher's album Closer to the Truth (2013).

Morris' January 2010 performance of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" with Justin Timberlake and Charlie Sexton on the Hope For Haiti Now telethon became the most downloaded song from the international broadcast's digital release and went to #1 on the iTunes music chart and #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 During the same month, Morris released When Everything Breaks Open on Timberlake's Tennman Records. The release gained wide distribution through Interscope Records, garnering much praise in the press.[3] Morris was let go from his deal with Tennman and Interscope in 2011, and continues to write songs for other recording artists.[4]

Early life[edit]

Matt Morris was born and raised in Denver, Colorado by his mother and stepfather, and had no intention of being a country singer like his father, Gary Morris, an American country music artist who charted a string of countrypolitan-styled hit songs throughout the 1980s. However, Morris learned much about songwriting from his father, Gary.[5]

Morris biological parents divorced while he was still an infant. Morris was raised in Denver by his mom, Teri Hernandez, and his stepdad, Ken. They lived in the Barnum neighborhood of Denver until Morris was in the fourth grade, when they moved to Bear Valley.[6]

In 1991, when Morris was in 6th Grade, he joined the cast of The Mickey Mouse Club.[6] His castmates included future collaborator and pop superstars Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera. The show ended in 1994, when Morris was 15. Morris returned to his home in Denver, Colorado with the intention of distancing himself from the entertainment industry and reconnect with his friends and family.[7] Morris attended John F. Kennedy High School[8] and starred in a number of high school plays, including South Pacific and The King and I.[9]

Morris grew up in an Episcopalian household.[10]


In 2003, Morris released the independent album UnSpoken. To support the album, Morris toured colleges around the U.S. and gave an interactive session and dialogue with audiences called "Reflections on Artistry and the Business of Music: A Dialogue with Matt Morris." The event consisted of a discussion of Morris' experiences in the music industry, as well as his thoughts about file sharing.[11]

Backstage at Bonnaroo and Other Acoustic Performances EP[edit]

Morris performed at the 2008 Bonnaroo Music Festival. While at the festival, Morris and producer, Charlie Sexton, recorded a series of acoustic performances backstage in the Music Allies recording studio. The songs were compiled as the 5 song EP, Backstage at Bonnaroo and Other Acoustic Performances, and released by Tennman Records September 23, 2008.[12][13]

When Everything Breaks Open[edit]

On January 12, 2010, Morris released When Everything Breaks Open on Justin Timberlake’s label, Tennman Records.[14] In support of the album, Morris performed on a number of television shows, including the Late Show with David Letterman, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and Lopez Tonight. When Everything Breaks Open was co-produced by Charlie Sexton and Justin Timberlake.[5] The album was recorded largely at Public Hi-Fi, a recording studio in Austin, Texas founded by Spoon’s Jim Eno.[15]

Chart (2010) Peak
Billboard 200 (U.S.) 99
Billboard Top Independent Albums 13
Billboard Top Rock Albums 31
Billboard Top Alternative Albums 25


On January 22, 2010, Morris performed the Leonard Cohen song, "Hallelujah", with Justin Timberlake and Charlie Sexton during the Hope For Haiti Now telethon. The recording of the song became the most downloaded track from the album, and it charted in the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Live Forever video[edit]

The first video from When Everything Breaks Open was for the song, "Live Forever." The video was directed by Matt Stawski, with art by Serge Gay, Jr.. The video takes place in a non-descript suburban neighborhood and is rich with animation.[17]


Morris was offered the lead role alongside India.Arie in a Broadway production produced by Daniel Wise entitled “Shlomo”. The musical is based on the life of Shlomo Carlebach, also known as the Singing Rabbi.[8]

Songwriter credits[edit]







Performing credits[edit]


Personal life[edit]

Morris is openly gay and married Sean Michael Morris when same-sex couples were allowed to do so in California.[24] His husband was his inspiration for the song "Love" found on his debut album.[24] He has three mixed breed dogs named Max, Rupert, and Elliott. He has various tattoos and his favorite one is a sacred heart on his chest, drawn by the late artist Lee Ball. Morris lives in Portland, Oregon.[25]

Morris has blogged about his religious journey under the name Teo Bishop since 2009, and in 2012 he changed his legal name to Teo Bishop.[26]



  1. ^ "Christina Aguilera Album & Song Chart History". Retrieved 2011-12-14. 
  2. ^ a b "Reba Outmuscles Kanye, 50 To Score First No. 1". Retrieved 2011-12-14. 
  3. ^ Swami, The (2010-01-20). "Colorado Music Buzz Magazine Daily Blog: Matt Morris Video links to David Letteman and Ellen DeGeneres (look for our CMBer Dave Preston playing guitar!)". Retrieved 2011-12-14. 
  4. ^ "Everything Breaks Down and Becomes Something New". Retrieved 2012-07-23. 
  5. ^ a b Fusilli, Jim (April 14, 2010). "From Mouseketeer To Balladeer". The Wall Street Journal. 
  6. ^ a b Johnson, Ru (2010-02-25). "Matt Morris is more than Justin Timberlake's protege". Westword. Retrieved 2011-12-14. 
  7. ^ Johnson, Ru (2010-02-25). "Matt Morris is more than Justin Timberlake's protege". Westword. Retrieved 2011-12-14. 
  8. ^ a b "Broadway's "Shlomo" would have Denver ties". The Denver Post. May 23, 2010. 
  9. ^ Baca, Ricardo (January 11, 2010). "The Reverb Interview: Matt Morris". The Denver Post. 
  10. ^ Bishop, Teo (November 2, 2013). "A Disruptive and Inconvenient Realization". The Huffington Post. Retrieved November 15, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Grammy-nominated artist Matt Morris to perform at MUW Wednesday" (Press release). Mississippi University for Women. 2004-02-24. Retrieved 2011-12-14. 
  12. ^ "Club Notes: Ex-Muskateer Matt Morris". Retrieved 2011-12-14. 
  13. ^ "Matt Morris : News". Retrieved 2011-12-14. 
  14. ^ Fusilli, Jim (April 14, 2010). "From Mouseketeer To Balladeer". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 15, 2012. 
  15. ^ Caldwell, Patrick (2010-03-16). "Austin TX music: Music listings, bands, music news, reviews, SXSW and ACL". Retrieved 2011-12-14. 
  16. ^ Billboard Charts
  17. ^ Herrera, Dave (2010-07-09). "A first look at the new Matt Morris video for "Live Forever"". Retrieved 2011-12-14. 
  18. ^ "Sex Therapy – Robin Thicke". Retrieved 2011-12-14. 
  19. ^ ChristinaMultimedia Staff. "Christina Statistics – Can´t Hold Us Down Lyrics". ChristinaMultimedia. Retrieved 2011-12-14. 
  20. ^ ChristinaMultimedia Staff. "Christina Statistics – Walk Away Lyrics". ChristinaMultimedia. Retrieved 2011-12-14. 
  21. ^ ChristinaMultimedia Staff. "Christina Statistics – Infatuation Lyrics". ChristinaMultimedia. Retrieved 2011-12-14. 
  22. ^ ChristinaMultimedia Staff. "Christina Statistics – Loving Me 4 Me Lyrics". ChristinaMultimedia. Retrieved 2011-12-14. 
  23. ^ ChristinaMultimedia Staff. "Christina Statistics – Underappreciated Lyrics". ChristinaMultimedia. Retrieved 2011-12-14. 
  24. ^ a b Tsai, Catherine (January 12, 2010). "Matt Morris – Colorado's Justin Timberlake?". The Huffington Post. Associated Press. Retrieved August 2, 2010. 
  25. ^
  26. ^ "The Road Ahead: Being Matt Morris Again". January 1, 2013. Retrieved September 25, 2013. As many of you know, I have two names. There is the name you know me by, Teo Bishop; a name which I chose for myself several years back, and one that I took as my legal name last year. There is also the name which I've performed under for most of my life, Matt Morris. 

External links[edit]