Who Is The 1975 Singer Matty Healy?

The 1975 frontman Matt Healy has definitely made his mark on pop culture. The indie rock band's success lies partly with their catchy, zeitgeist-y songs, and partly with Healy's magnetic, if controversial stage presence; the singer is known for smoking, drinking, swearing, and kissing fans on stage. He is also a divisive figure thanks to his tendency to make questionable — to put it mildly —comments. 

Despite the controversy surrounding Healy, there's no denying his talent, charisma, or star power. What's more, his band keeps on finding success. 2022's "Being Funny in a Foreign Language" received rave reviews, and reached the number one position in the UK charts.

In 2023, Healy landed in the headlines, but not for a dicey remark or shocking performance. Rather, rumor has it that Healy is dating pop superstar Taylor Swift. Curious to learn more about the bad boy rock sensation who seems to have won the heart of the good girl of pop? Let's get into who Matt Healy is.

Matt Healy, the son of Denise Welch, had a unique childhood

Matt Healy was born on April 8, 1989, to parents Tim Healy and Denise Welch, both of whom were in show business. His father was an actor, known for "Coronation Street" and "Sunday for Sammy," and also worked as a drag queen. His mother was also an actor on "Coronation Street" who later became a host on "Loose Women." 

Healy's upbringing was, as he put it to The Guardian in 2016, "Completely mental." According to the singer, his family was both loving and chaotic. "We love each other so much," he said. "We're so close, so tactile, and we kick the s*** out of each other. And we throw things at each other, and my parents drank for years. I grew up in a very different house from what my [15-year-old] brother is growing up in now." As Welch once said on "Loose Women" (via Her.ie), it made him who he is today: "If his upbringing hadn't been a little bit rock and roll, he wouldn't be in The 1975." 

Healy's childhood also set the stage for his passion for music. "My dad's mates were in bands," Healy told The Guardian. "Brian Johnson from AC/DC, Rick Wakeman, Mark Knopfler and Jeff Lynne, who's an absolute genius." His father also instilled in him a love of gospel. As he put it, "It sounds a weird thing to say, but that was my God when I was growing up."

Matt Healy was bullied as a teen

There's no denying that Matt Healy's childhood was unusual — and as a result, he didn't always fit in with other children at school. In fact, as the musician told GQ, he was bullied as a teenager because he didn't conform with the traditional idea of masculinity. 

"Of course, masculinity's changed, but maybe I'm fortunate or privileged to have not been that interested in it," he said, citing his father's diverse friend group and drag career as an early influence. "I did get slapped about a bit in Manchester for having long hair and looking like a p***ta when I was a teenager, but who didn't get stuff for being slightly different? It's like I've never been interested in masculinity as an idea because I've never been fearful of it." In a separate chat with ShortList, he shared that he doesn't connect with the "masculine fear" he associates with some guitar-driven rock music. While Healy's take on masculinity made him stand out at school, soon enough, it would pay off.

Matt Healy had a hard time in school

Matt Healy's experience of school wasn't exactly a smooth one. "I went to a private school originally but then I got kicked out," he told Some Kind of Awesome in 2013. He transferred to a public school in Wilmslow, near Manchester.

As for his grades, they weren't exactly stellar. By the time he graduated, he only had three GCSEs — most British students graduate with nine or ten. "School was just a tedious imposition, getting in the way of me being a pop star," Healy explained to The Guardian in 2016. "I was just looking at the clock, waiting until I could go and do it." 

Luckily, one great thing did come out of Healy's school experience — he connected with people who would become his future bandmates, Ross MacDonald, Adam Hann, and George Daniel. As he recalled to Some Kind of Awesome, "We met at high school and it went from there."

Matt Healy struggled with a drug addiction

Shortly after leaving school and throwing himself into the life of a musician, Matt Healy developed a worrying drug addiction. Things got worse when Healy began experimenting with heroin. By 2018, his bandmates, who did not use heroin, felt the need to step in. At first he didn't want help, because he didn't see it as a problem. However, eventually, he came around to the idea of making a change.

Healy went to rehab where he realized that he was lucky to be there when was. "I'd not lost anything. I'd nearly lost the respect of everybody I loved, but I hadn't," he said on "The Zane Lowe Show." "Hadn't lost my career. Hadn't lost my possessions. Hadn't lost my money. I was just walking a very, very thin line." That's when Healy really understood that he had to stop. "The junky phase was kind of a phase of mine," he reflected. "I do a lot of stuff that I would do in place of drugs that I now do... I do jiu jitsu, being in the gym."

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

The 1975 didn't find success for a decade

While most of us have probably heard of The 1975 these days, there was a time when the band struggled to make any headway. The group was formed when Healy was still in school, but it would be a while before anyone paid them much notice. As the singer told The Talks, this long wait helped to keep him humble. "Don't get famous until you're 24 and have been in a band for 10 years, with not only no one caring, but people actually hating you beforehand," he said. "Honestly, I didn't get big 'til I was 24 because every major label had said no!"

In a 2013 interview with Gigwise, Healy explained that most of the labels who rejected them were not on board with what The 1975 was trying to do — or at the very least, they didn't understand it. "When you've got grown-ups, loads of grown-ups with loads of money when you've got no money, and every single one of them comes to your house telling you're not good enough and you don't actually know what you're doing, it really hurts," he said. "But on the other side, it made us think, 'F*** it, let's do it ourselves, they don't know what they are talking about.'" They eventually signed with Polydor and, in 2013, they exploded onto the scene.

Matt Healy sees himself as an expert on 'consumption within the internet'

When The 1975 released their self-titled debut in 2013, social media was very much a fixture of everyday life; as NME put it, the group was "born of the social media age." Once upon a time, Matt Healy was all about Twitter, but he parted ways with the platform in 2020 following a controversy. In response to the Black Lives Matter movement, the singer included some of his band's lyrics in a tweet. For a number of social media users, this came across as a crass attempt to capitalize on the movement. The criticism rolled in, and he promptly deleted his account. "By that point, my reaction in the room to all that Twitter s*** was like, 'Oh f*** off! You know that I'm not using this as an opportunity to monetise the half-a-pence I get paid for a f***ing YouTube play,'" he said to NME.

While Healy used to spend plenty of time on Twitter, now that he has left it behind, he uses his songwriting to comment on our current age and its preoccupation with social media instead. "If I'm gonna write about the culture war then I'm not going to be in it anymore. I'm certainly not going to become a pawn in it," he said. These days, he sees himself as "the best writer in music on consumption within the internet."

Matt Healy was rumored to be dating Taylor Swift in 2014

In 2014, Matt Healy found himself in the midst of a media storm when word got out that he was apparently dating Taylor Swift. The rumors began after Healy was not only spotted in a Taylor Swift shirt, but Swift appeared at his concert wearing a 1975 shirt. After she attended yet another show, Healy revealed that the pair had exchanged numbers. "What am I going to do, go out with Taylor Swift? She's a sensation. I wouldn't say no," he said on "Shazam Top 20" (via Page Six).

However, when Healy was pressed further, he backtracked. "I didn't even date Taylor, but the media's incessant and brutal obsession with her has meant that even a guy who DIDN'T DATE HER has been so battered by their never-ending questions that he's inevitably said something that can be lifted and molded into something that resembles 'shade.' It's really sad," he wrote in a Twitter statement.

In a 2016 interview with The Guardian, Healy offered some more details. Apparently, the pair had spent some time together but decided not to actually date. "She came to a show and we hung out," he said. "We fancied each other, but then we couldn't have it go any further, because it would be like going out with Barack Obama." In other words, it's not that he didn't want to date — it's just that it would have been too complicated given her level of fame.

Matt Healy feels more mature in his 30s

Having turned 30 in 2019, Matt Healy recently entered a new phase of life. He's more confident, more self-assured, and more mature than he was in his 20s. "I think I just grew up a little bit," he said to The Talks.

And his growing maturity is reflected in his music, too. "This record ['Being Funny in a Foreign Language'] definitely... says, 'Well, nihilism in your 20s is very sexy, and very cool and well done, and maybe appropriate,'" he reflected to Rolling Stone. "As you get a little bit older, those postmodern, exciting ideas have to — do — start making way for more traditional values, which aren't that sexy, which aren't that hip-shaking." He also turned away from more technological sounds, as he feels there's maturity in a more stripped back sound — and he's drawn to that. "If we have an idea, let's not go into the plethora of computers and the Internet," he said to The Talks. "We have seven instruments and we're a f***ing rock band."

Matt Healy is a collector of curiosities

When Matt Healy isn't making music, he's probably adding to one of his many collections. As the singer explained to Rolling Stone in 2022, he's something of an obsessive collector. In fact, there is a whole room in his house dedicated to the stuff he has accumulated over the years — he calls it, simply, The Room. Many of his items are cultural curiosities; he has an original Jack Kerouac poem, a 1981 postcard from the band Throbbing Gristle, a press release for the novel "Infinite Jest," and a pamphlet by activist Abbie Hoffman that dates back to the '60s. 

Healy doesn't collect just anything. "When I reflect on all of these things that I've collected since I was a kid, that for me have represented true counterculture and progression, I feel a bit politically homeless, because I don't know how those things would be embraced," he said.

In another 2022 interview with Pitchfork, Healy actually added to his collection while speaking to the interviewer. The pair chatted while browsing London's Peter Harrington bookshop, which is filled with unique first editions. Apparently, he settled on a poetry anthology from 1967 worth £275. "I don't really do anything with them," he said of his collectibles. "I just have them at home and look at them."

Matt Healy comments about religion ruffled some feathers

Matt Healy is famously outspoken — and one of the topics he isn't afraid to get into is religion. As The Guardian noted in a 2016 profile, he considers himself to be an atheist — but he does have a thing for religious symbols and even keeps a cross over his bed.

On some occasions, Healy has raised eyebrows because of his strong opinions on religion. "Nowadays, I honestly think if you're, like, piously religious, you're, like, dogmatically faithful, you should be kind of ashamed of yourself," he once said in a 2019 interview with Brut. He went on to discuss how, in his opinion, religious people were "allowed" to be offended by just about everything — including homosexuality. "I have to get up every day and read something abhorrent that's happened in the name of religion," he said, "And I never get a day. I never get a day where I get to be offended. Where are my rights as an atheist?" He also made some remarks about Islam that, to many viewers, felt rooted in Islamophobia. 

Matt Healy has an unconventional performance style

Up on stage, Matt Healy is anything but boring. In fact, he's known to be one of the most unconventional performers out there. A quick glimpse at footage from one of his tours will give you an idea of what we mean. In one clip on YouTube, the singer is seen smoking on stage, before breathing from an oxygen tank, unbuttoning his shirt, touching himself, and, eventually, crawling into a TV. Other clips show him eating raw meat on stage. Healy has also been known to kiss fans during his performances. 

In another clip, Healy can be seen doing what appears to be a Nazi salute. And as Metro reported, his bandmates cut him off at a 2023 show when he told the crowd, "I don't think it's a racist thing to say..." He didn't get a chance to finish the sentence, but some fans believe he then said, "I was going to say something not racist."

While many fans see his performing style as artistic, others aren't so keen. In fact, numerous pieces have been written about the controversial things Healy has done in the name of art. "Creepy behavior or pop performance?" queried one think piece in The Guardian. One Twitter thread that pulled together all of his most controversial on stage behavior went viral. Whether you love him or hate him, it seems Healy will always elicit a strong opinion.

Matt Healy is reportedly dating Taylor Swift as of 2023

As of May 2023, Matt Healy may very well be dating Taylor Swift — for real this time. After the pair first met almost a decade ago, the pair apparently rekindled things in the wake of Swift's split from her longtime boyfriend Joe Alwyn. A source told The Sun, "She and Matty are madly in love. It's super-early days, but it feels right. They first dated, very briefly, almost ten years ago but timings just didn't work out." Apparently, the pair have been spending a lot of time chatting on FaceTime. What's more, Healy was spotted at one of Swift's concerts, only adding fuel to the rumor fire.

Another source revealed to ET, "Taylor and Matty like each other. Taylor has a crush on Matty and they are having a good time hanging out. Matty also thinks Taylor is awesome and incredibly talented, too. They dated briefly in the past." Another tipster backed this up, telling the outlet, "Taylor and Matty have been hanging out recently and Jack Antonoff reconnected them."

Since then, the pair have even been spotted leaving one of Swift's concerts in the same car. While they haven't confirmed anything, one thing's for sure: a relationship with the newly single Swift would be just one more headline-grabbing move from one of the most divisive men in music.