People Exclusive

PEOPLE Video Exclusive: R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe Speaks Out

03/21/2008 at 09:30 AM EDT


In a recent interview with Spin magazine, R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe made comments about the positive effect of being an out, gay public figure – quotes that quickly caught traction online. The interview triggered a flurry of discussion about his own sexuality – and his decision to finally acknowledge publicly that he's gay. However, Stipe, 48, has been candid about being "queer" (as he describes himself) for years – even being named in 1995 to Out magazine's "Out 100" list of gay celebrities. Now, for the first time since his much-buzzed about interview, Stipe speaks out to PEOPLE in this taped video statement from Paris.
– Brian Orloff

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