Michael Stipe Sings Bowie Tribute on ‘Tonight Show’

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Photo source: www.speakerpedia.com

Update (March 30): Michael Stipe sang David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold The World” last night during his Tonight Show appearance. (Watch it below.)

The former R.E.M. singer steps back into the spotlight on Tuesday night (3/29), when he makes his solo national TV debut as the musical guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. It’s a rare high-visibility public performance by Stipe, who will be in New York City to perform at two David Bowie tribute concerts being held at Carnegie Hall on Thursday (3/31) and Radio City Music Hall on Friday (4/1).

Don’t be surprised if Stipe performs a Bowie song on the show. His few live appearances as a solo artist opening concerts for his friend and inspiration Patti Smith in 2014 and 2015 have largely consisted of cover songs.

Here’s the March 29 performance on The Tonight Show

It remains unclear if the Tonight Show guest spot signals a return to active musical duty for Stipe. He did say on CBS This Morning in December 2014 that a solo career was in the offing. “I think I’ll sing again. That’s maybe an exclusive? But I think I will sing again, yeah,” Stipe said. “I love my voice and I think it’s still… I think it actually got better as I got older,” But as to when, “Not soon. Maybe. I don’t know.” Stipe added, “I sing in the shower. And I’m not bad. You would be surprised at my play list.”

The Carnegie Hall Bowie tribute was already in the works when Bowie died in January (see our story here). Artists slated to appear along with Stipe are Debbie Harry, Pixies, Cyndi Lauper, Rickie Lee Jones, Laurie Anderson, Cat Power, The Roots, Perry Farrell, Ann & Nancy Wilson of Heart., Jakob Dylan, Robyn Hitchcock, The Flaming Lips. The Radio City date was quickly added after Bowie’s passing and features many of the same acts as well as Mumford & Sons and The Polyphonic Spree.

Stipe has also been reportedly spending time in Dublin recently, spotted there with The Edge of U2 though hardly recognizable with a long beard and nose ring.

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