Michael Stipe was born into a military family and spent his formative years moving from place to place. By the time he decided to study art at the University of Athens in Georgia, Stipe had lived not only all over the U.S., but in different countries across the world, as well. There, the gangly student met a record store clerk named Peter Buck. Sharing similar taste in music, the two decided to form a band that would become R.E.M. Their music was marked by Stipe’s mumbly vocals and his tacit refusal to tell anyone what he was singing or what any of the songs meant. Over time, though, he began singing more clearly. His lyrics also began to carry political and social messages that would help the band endear themselves even more to their fans. Stipe went from saying in the band’s early years that the words didn’t matter to including the lyrics in the music video for the band’s single, ‘Everybody Hurts.’ Since R.E.M.’s dissolution in 2011, Stipe has remained busy as a visual artist and musician.
Watch Michael Stipe Join Stephen Colbert and James Franco for 'It's the End of the Year As We Know It'
Michael Stipe stopped by 'The Late Show' to sing a headlines-inspired take on R.E.M.'s classic.
R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe Wants to 'Work in Music Again'
Five years after R.E.M.'s breakup, Michael Stipe is looking to get back in the game.
Watch Michael Stipe’s Wistful Cover of David Bowie’s ‘Ashes to Ashes’ at NYC Tribute Concert
"It was two stunning evenings," Stipe wrote, "hearing songs that I grew up with, all contributors honoring the output of such an astonishing songwriter."
33 Years Ago: R.E.M. Release Their Subversive Debut, 'Murmur'
Long before they lost their religion, R.E.M. emerged from the indie underground with a haunting sound that blends folk, post-punk and garage rock into something ethereal.
Michael Stipe + Bernie Sanders Ate Hot Dogs Together at a Coney Island Rally
After Stipe and Killer Mike, Sanders is racking up a very impressive list of lunch dates.
32 Years Ago: R.E.M. Release Their Second Album, 'Reckoning'
Tasked with following up their landmark debut, R.E.M. went looser and a little towards the heartland with their hugely influential 1984 effort, 'Reckoning.'
Watch Michael Stipe, Wayne Coyne + Chewbacca Perform at David Bowie Tribute Concert
Not to be outdone, the Flaming Lips frontman performed "Life on Mars?" while seated atop Chewie's shoulders.
Michael Stipe Performs Beautiful Cover of David Bowie’s ‘The Man Who Sold the World’ on ‘Fallon’
The R.E.M. frontman's lovely, piano-driven cover precedes his appearance at two David Bowie tribute concerts in New York City later this week.
Michael Stipe Will Make His TV Debut as a Solo Artist on ‘Fallon’ Next Week
The R.E.M. frontman has played a handful of surprise solo sets in New York City in recent memory, and on Tuesday, he will take his act to 'The Tonight Show.'
25 Years Ago: R.E.M. Lose Their Religion and Find Superstardom With 'Out of Time'
Just as alternative music started to rise from the indie underground into the mainstream, R.E.M. rode the wave to rock radio ubiquity.