John Michael Stipe is an American singer-songwriter and musician who was born on January 4, 1960. He is best known for being the main vocalist and lyricist of the alternative rock band R.E.M. His distinctive theatrical presence, creative words, and vocal range have earned him a following.
Stipe is known for his unusual voice and for the “mumbling” manner of his early career. Stipe began using “wailing, keening, arching vocal patterns” in the middle of the 1980s, which R.E.M. author David Buckley likened to Muslim muezzins and Celtic folk musicians.
What does Michael Stipe do now?
He oversaw the visual aspect of R.E.M., frequently choosing album art and helming many of the group’s music videos.
He owns and manages C-00 and Single Cell Pictures, two film production companies outside the music industry.
Stipe was admitted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2007 as a member of R.E.M. Kurt Cobain of Nirvana and Thom Yorke of Radiohead were two musicians who were influenced by Stipe as a singer-songwriter.
Yorke told The Guardian that Stipe is his favourite songwriter, stating “I liked the way Michael would take an emotion and then take a step back from it and in doing so make it so much more powerful. Bono of U2 has called his voice “amazing.”