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Michael Stipe shares thoughts on paying tribute to ‘astonishing songwriter’ David Bowie

Michael Stipe shares thoughts on paying tribute to 'astonishing songwriter' David Bowie

R.E.M. frontman recently covered two Bowie classics at New York City tribute events

Getty Nick Levine, 15th April 2016 Michael Stipe has shared his thoughts on his recent David Bowie tribute performances, hailing the late musician as an "astonishing songwriter".
On March 31 and April 1, the R.E.M frontman covered Bowie classics 'The Man Who Sold The World' and 'Ashes To Ashes' during tribute events held at two iconic New York City venues: Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall. A few days earlier, he also performed 'The Man Who Sold The World' on Jimmy Fallon's chatshow.
Stipe wrote today (April 15) in a post on R.E.M.'s website, presented all in lower case: "To play carnegie hall and radio city music hall is, in itself, a huge honor – they are incredible venues each with incredible histories. for carnegie in particular, i wanted the room to be the main instrument. its reverberation and energy is profoundly weighted and airy all at once — it can transform music into something holy — so that informed our arrangement choices for ‘ashes to ashes’."
"radio city music hall is a way different room, but equally resonant," Stipe continued. "it was two stunning evenings, hearing songs that i grew up with, all contributors honoring the output of such an astonishing songwriter. for myself, including the performance on the tonight show starring jimmy fallon, in one week i got to interpret and perform two of my top 20 favorite songs of all time."
Stipe then concluded by saying a "giant thank you is due to especially paul cantelon and karen elson for their help in pulling this off – and to shlomo lipetz and michael dorf for including me, paul and karen".
Stipe also shared a link to his version of 'Ashes To Ashes', on which he duets with Karen Elson. Watch below.