Morrissey, Beatles muse Shelagh Delaney dies aged 71

Playwright provided inspiration for tracks by The Smiths and the Fab Four

Morrissey and The Beatles‘ muse, the writer Shelagh Delaney, has died aged 71.

According to CBSNews, Delaney died at her daughter’s home after a battle with cancer just a few days prior to her 72nd birthday.

Morrissey – who grew up close to Delaney’s hometown of Salford, Manchester – has often paid tribute to the playwright by referencing works from her canon in his lyrics throughout his career in tracks such as ‘Reel Around The Fountain’.

The Smiths‘ song ‘This Night Has Opened My Eyes’ borrowed its narrative from Delaney’s first play ‘A Taste Of Honey’, while her face also appears on the cover of the band’s 1987 compilation album ‘Louder Than Bombs’.

The Beatles, meanwhile, were also fans of Delaney and showed their appreciation for her by recording their own version of the theme from the 1961 film adaptation of ‘A Taste Of Honey’.

Delaney premiered ‘A Taste Of Honey’ in 1958 when she was just 19 years old, with the play opening to critical acclaim, but after her next work – ‘The Lion In Love’, which was staged in 1960 – she didn’t work in the theatre for nearly 20 years.

Instead, she switched her focus to writing screenplays and penned notable works including 1966’s ‘The White Bus’, the award-winning ‘Charlie Bubbles’ in 1968 and 1970’s ‘The Raging Moon’.

Her agent, Jane Villiers, confirmed the news to the Associated Press. As of yet, details of Delaney’s funeral arrangements have not been announced.