R.E.M. performs publicly for first time in years at Songwriters Hall of Fame ceremony

That’s them in the spotlight, again.

Legendary rock band R.E.M. reunited at the Songwriters Hall of Fame induction ceremony in New York City on June 13, walking the red carpet and then playing an acoustic version of their 1991 hit “Losing My Religion” during the event.

The band’s original members — lead singer Michael Stipe, drummer Bill Berry, guitarist Peter Buck and bassist Mike Mills — turned out for the ceremony at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel, as the band was among the evening’s honorees, alongside Timbaland, Hillary Lindsey, Dean Pitchford, Steely Dan and Cindy Walker.

2024 Songwriters Hall Of Fame Induction And Awards Gala (Joy Malone / Getty Images)
2024 Songwriters Hall Of Fame Induction And Awards Gala (Joy Malone / Getty Images)

“We’re R.EM., and this is what we did,” Stipe said on stage before the band launched into “Losing My Religion.”

R.E.M.’s performance was the first time all four members appeared together since they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, according to Rolling Stone.

According to Variety, R.E.M. performed at a private event in 2016, but the band's four original members hadn’t performed in a major show since 1995, as Berry left the band in 1997.

R.E.M. played its last show in 2008 and officially broke up in 2011.

“The main thing that we do is write songs, so this is a really incredible honor for us, as songwriters, as musicians” Stipe said on the red carpet, according to NBC News.

“When you write good songs, they have an emotional connection to people and music is one of the things that stays with you your whole life. So, if there’s a song that affected you when you’re 15, it’ll probably affect you when you’re 40,” Mills said.

2024 Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala (Bennett Raglin / Getty Images  for Songwriters Ha)
2024 Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala (Bennett Raglin / Getty Images for Songwriters Ha)

R.E.M. is considered one of the pioneers of the alternative rock movement.

“Losing My Religion” was one of the biggest songs of 1991, peaking at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100.

It was accompanied by a popular video that aired in heavy rotation on MTV and won two Grammys. The song was also nominated for record of the year, while the album on which it appeared, “Out of Time,” was nominated for album of the year.

R.E.M. was also responsible for scores of other hits, such as “Everybody Hurts,” “Man on the Moon" and “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine),” which Jason Isbell covered during the ceremony, according to the Associated Press.

“Writing songs and having a catalog of work that we’re all proud of — that is out there for the whole world for the rest of time — is hands down, the most important aspect of what we did as a band,” Stipe said during the band’s speech at the ceremony.

“Second to that is that we managed to do so for all these decades and remain friends, and not just friends, but dear friends — friends for life.”

This article was originally published on TODAY.com

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