John Michael Stipe (Decatur (Georgia), 4 January 1960) is the lead singer and frontman of the American rock band r.e.m.. He is known for his "mumbling" at the beginning of his career, to the surrealist texts as well as for his political activism. R.e.m. is regarded as the pioneer in the alternative rock.
Stipe came into contact with Bill Berry , Peter Buckand Mike Mills in 1980 when he photography and painting studied at the University of Georgia. In that year they founded r.e.m. on and made their first single, "Radio Free Europe". The song was much turned on University radio stations, and the band signed a record deal with i.r.s. Recordsfor their first EP, Chronic Town, which was released the following year.
In 1983 they released the album Murmur , and that turned out to be the first of a row albums that got good reviews, but with strongly varying commercial successes. A number of hits and a growing reputation as a political activist ensured that he became famous.
He was good friends with, among other things, River Phoenix, to whom the album Monster was dedicated. Also Kurt Cobain was a good friend, and he is the Godfather ofFrances Bean Cobain, the daughter that Kurt had with Courtney Love.
R.e.m. and Radiohead are also good acquaintances, partly due to the fact that Radiohead was the support act for the Monster tour in 1995. Michael sang during the Radiohead tour of 2003 a number of times the song ' Lucky ', and Thom Yorke sang along during a few concerts of brake, and he sang on the single " E-Bow the Letter.Yorke indicates that Stipe plays an important role in his personal life as he helped him during a severe depressive period at the end of the 1990s.
In 1998 he published the book Two Times Intro: On the Road with Patti Smith, one of his heroes. He also worked with a Single Cell, a film production company that released several arthouse/indie films (includingVelvet Goldmine with Ewan McGregor, Being John Malkovich and American Psycho).
He wrote haikus for the book The Haiku Year
In 2006, he released an EP with six different covers of Joseph Arthur's "In the Sun" for the Fund for help after Hurricane Katrina. The version with Coldplay 's Chris Martin was number 1 in Canada. . He also appeared in this year in the song Broken Promise on Placeboalbum, and sang the song L ' Hôtel on the tribute album Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited.
He is also regularly heard on songs by other artists like Kristin Hershand Indigo Girls . He was also very closely linked with singer Natalie Merchant, with whom he also recorded a number of songs, including thatPhotograph on a pro-choice benefit album, Born to Choose, is released. Also they have along with Peter Gabriel on the stage.
In interviews, he describes his sexual preference as "sexually": he says he is attracted to both men and women, and that he has relationships with both.