Michael Stipe has dashed the hopes of millions of R.E.M fans worldwide by insisting the band will "never reunite".
The 61-year-old singer spoke to WNYC's All of It with Alison Stewart on Tuesday – the 10th anniversary of the band's split. And when host Alison asked Stipe whether or not the group would follow in the footsteps of other groups giving things another try, he was adamant with his answer.
"We decided when we split up that that would be really tacky and probably money grabbing, which might be the impetus for a lot of bands to get back together," he insisted. "We don't really need that. And I'm really happy that we have the legacy of 32 years of work that we have from 1980 to 2011.
"It's been 10 years since R.E.M. called it a day, and that's bittersweet of course for all of us. But I'm really proud as a band and as great friends that we decided to do what we did when we did it. It's weird to me to think it's been an entire decade since we called it a day."
Stipe isn't leaving the music industry behind him entirely though – he's embarking on a solo career and gearing up to release a new album.
"I don't know what an album is in the year 2021 or 2022 is anymore," he mused. "But I'm actually in the studio now. I'm working on new material. I don't feel the need at this point to really compete with the pop market. I just want to do what I do. So I'm not going to wait and drop everything at one time. I'm just going to release things as I record them and mix them."