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Whoa! REM Broke Up!

There are some rock bands that have been around for so long, steadily releasing albums and touring, that it’s impossible to believe they’ll ever call it quits — like The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, and even Pearl Jam, who are currently doing a 20th-anniversary victory lap. REM were one of those bands, too, until today, when they announced on their official website that they’ve decided to “call it a day.” In a statement that includes a personal note from each of the three members, Michael Stipe, Mike Mills, and Peter Buck, each musician expresses his love for his band mates and appreciation for the fans. “A wise man once said–‘the skill in attending a party is knowing when it’s time to leave,'” Stipe writes. “We built something extraordinary together. We did this thing. And now we’re going to walk away from it.” Although their best work may have been behind them, the news still comes as a shock. As one of the first “alternative” (or “indie” or “college”) bands to become mainstream superstars, REM changed the face of popular music and influenced generations of followers. Their split truly marks the end of an era. [via Rolling Stone]

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