R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe Set To Launch Solo Career–Will Appear On Fallon Next Week

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After months of speculation, R.E.M’s Michael Stipe is set to launch his solo career.

When the legendary Athens, GA band broke up in 2011 many thought the frontman would be going out on his own, but Stipe gave no indication that any new material was in the works.

Until a few months ago.

Playing sporadic surprise shows around New York City in the last eight months–which found him singing and manning a keyboard–has fueled speculation that the singer had been working on new material and those hunches have proven to be correct.

Stipe will appear on The Tonight Show next week (March 29) to debut a new song.

The track is believed to be from his upcoming record, the title of which is unknown at this point.

Although he said he feared a solo album would sound like “watered down R.E.M.” in December, Stipe dropped a cryptic hint that he would be returning to music. In an interview with CBS’s “This Morning” Stipe said: “I think I will sing again. Not soon, maybe. I don’t know.”

Election years have traditionally been busy ones for the politically active R.E.M. and although the band is no longer together, Stipe has carried on this tradition, supporting Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

Stipe is also said to be working on a performance which will be dedicated to David Bowie.