09:52 22 September 2011
Rock legends R.E.M. have announced their split after three decades together as a band.
The group broke the news by releasing a statement on their official website:
"We have decided to call it a day as a band. To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening."
Each band member has now also commented on the split, giving a personal insight into the reasons for it, with lead singer Michael Stipe saying:
"A wise man once said--'the skill in attending a party is knowing when it's time to leave.' We built something extraordinary together. We did this thing. And now we're going to walk away from it.
"We have to thank all the people who helped us be R.E.M. for these 31 years; our deepest gratitude to those who allowed us to do this. It's been amazing."
The band found fame with a string of successful albums, including Automatic for the People and Out of Time.
R.E.M. won three Grammy awards in 1992 and the Best International Group prize at the Brits in both 1993 and 1995.
Their fifteenth and final album, Collapse into Now, was released in March 2011.
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