R.E.M. Reunite for First Live Performance in 15 Years at Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony: Watch


Turns out it didn’t actually take a comet for R.E.M. to reunite. To celebrate their induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Michael Stipe, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, and Bill Berry took the stage for a surprise performance at the Marriot Marquis Hotel in New York City on Thursday night. According to the band’s Instagram, they played “Losing My Religion.”

It marked Stipe, Buck, and Mills’ first time playing together since disbanding in 2011, and the first time all four band members appeared together on stage since their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. (Berry left the band in 1997, but made sporadic live appearances in the years that followed.)

R.E.M.’s decision to take the stage and perform at the Songwriters Hall of Fame induction ceremony is certainly an unexpected development. In a televised interview with CBS This Morning that aired just hours earlier, the band dismissed the idea of a reunion. Mills joked that it would take a “comet” to get the band back together. Asked by CBS correspondent Anthony Mason why the band was so against a comeback, Buck responded, “It would never be as good.”


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Jason Isbell was on hand to induct R.E.M. into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In his prepared remarks, he said, “The songs they created served a real purpose for kids like me growing up in a small southern town. Somebody out there reluctantly clawing their way into the mainstream who was just as strange and out of place and time as I was.” Isbell also paid tribute to the band by covering “”It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine).”

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