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Michael Stipe makes surprise appearance during 121212 benefit show

Stipe was one of the concert's surprises. Photo: Getty Images

Stipe was one of the concert's surprises. Photo: Getty Images

Shortly after a suit-clad Chris Martin of Coldplay strummed through an earnest read of “Viva La Vida” during last night’s epic five-hour plus “121212 The Concert for Sandy Relief,” he announced a special guest. Out trotted Michael Stipe, retired frontman of R.E.M. who hasn’t graced a stage to our knowledge since the band announced its dissolution in September 2011.

Were you happy to see Michael Stipe on the 121212 concert last night?

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A bearded Stipe, also wearing a dark jacket and pants, joined Martin for a subdued take on “Losing My Religion” and retreated without saying a word.

“He came out of retirement for that song and now he’s gone right back in,” Martin joked as Stipe disappeared backstage.

A few moments later, Brian Williams, one of the hosts of the telethon, noted that Stipe’s inclusion was a surprise even to those organizing the event, intimating that the reclusive singer likely popped up backstage earlier in the show and said he wanted to sing.

Good to see him, however briefly.

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By Melissa Ruggieri, Atlanta Music Scene

3 comments Add your comment

Diane Lynne Chanako

December 13th, 2012
11:12 am

Chris Martin and Michael are a perfect compliment to each other.
A perfect duo. Keep going….you have something “Great!” here.
Namaste.

Andy Robertson

December 13th, 2012
10:54 pm

Why on earth was Billy Joel on-stage with Coldplay?

C

December 14th, 2012
7:50 am

I miss R.E.M. Come back guys.