Michael Stipe returning to music
Michael Stipe is returning to music.
The former R.E.M frontman is keen to get involved in the industry again five years after the group split following 30 years together, and his first foray into the business will be to produce electroclash group Fischerspooner's album 'SIR'.
He told the New York Times: "I'm not ready to go completely into pop stardom again, as a 56-year-old. I want to work in music again."
R.E.M split in 2011 following the release of their 15th album, 'Collapse Into Now', and guitarist Pete Buck has since claimed tensions began for the group during a three-hour band meeting in 2008, and ended three years later when Michael, 56, revealed he needed "a long" break.
He previously said: "We got together, and Michael said, 'I think you guys will understand. I need to be away from this for a long time.'
"And I said, 'How about forever?' Michael looked at Mike [Mills], and Mike said, 'Sounds right to me.' That's how it was decided."
In March, Michael was among the likes of Debbie Harry and Cyndi Lauper to honour the late David Bowie - who died of cancer in January aged 69 - at a special concert at Carnegie Hall in New York.
Michael teamed up with Karen Nelson for a rendition of 'Ashes to Ashes', Debbie performed 'Starman' and Cyndi belted out 'Suffragette City'.
The singer recently commented on the US Presidential election, admitting he partly blames Alec Baldwin for Donald Trump's popularity following the actor's comic portrayal of the 'Apprentice' boss on 'Saturday Night Live'.
He said: "It is so sad that we have allowed ourselves to sink to this level of really entertainment, that's what it is.
"I blame media completely for it, including 'Saturday Night Live'.
"What does it feel like from inside? What does it feel like playing that character? It's satire, it's brilliantly done, but it's still adding to the push of... Warhol said, there's no such thing as bad publicity. How have we created this monster? How have we put our particular American brand on this thing?"