Songwriting credits (and royalties) are shared equally regardless of who wrote the song. This is one reason they have been around so long, as many bands have broken up over who gets writing credits.
Stipe produced the 1999 movie Being John Malkovich. He is often mistaken for Malkovich.
R.E.M. did two MTV "Unplugged" specials. The first was in 1991, the second in 2001.
Stipe used to claim that he could predict earthquakes. He said he got a nasty headache a few days before they hit.
When the band was asked if REM stood for Rapid Eye Movement, they said, "REM stands for nothing, but will lie down for anything." (thanks, Kevin - Avon, OH)
Stipe had scarlet fever when he was 2.
Mills and Berry were in a lounge act with their high school music teacher. They would dress up and play at weddings and country clubs. But at least they could play. Stipe once explained: "When we started out, Buck couldn't really play the guitar and I couldn't sing. We were like a speed metal band when we started."
Stipe studied painting and photography at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, where the band formed. The band contributes a lot of money and time to keeping Athens beautiful. (thanks, Maria - Atlanta, GA)
They don't print lyrics with their albums. Stipe explained that fans often have better interpretations than the actual words.
Berry quit the band in 1997 after he suffered a near fatal brain aneurysm. He decided to take life at a slower pace and became a farmer. Every now and then he would play with R.E.M. at live shows. (thanks, scott - Bismarck, ND)
Stipe's sister, Linda, was in a band called Oh-OK with Matthew Sweet around the same time R.E.M. was forming. (thanks, Marvin - East Brady, PA)
Michael Stipe has discussed his sexuality from time to time, but prefers not to. In a 2001 Time magazine story, he said he had been in a relationship with a man for the last three years. Ten years later, he told The Observer, "I definitely prefer men to women."
Stipe and Natalie Merchant were a romantic couple in the late '80s when Natalie was lead singer of 10,000 Maniacs.
They originally called themselves the Twisted Kites before deciding on the name R.E.M. while flipping through a dictionary.
They were named "Best Band in America" by Rolling Stone magazine in 1987.
Disgusted with an early video, Stipe swore off lip-synching in videos for the duration of the 1980s. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France, for above 3)
In his spare time, Michael Stipe enjoys making replicas of everyday objects that interest him using bronze or birch plywood. His sculptures include a Polaroid camera, a microcassette and a newspaper.
On September 21, 2011, R.E.M. issued a statement on their website, declaring that they were "calling it a day as a band." Asked by Rolling Stone how the breakup came about, Peter Buck recalled:
"We were doing the last record, [2011's] Collapse Into Now. We hadn't made an announcement or anything. We got together, and Michael said, 'I think you guys will understand. I need to be away from this for a long time.' And I said, 'How about forever?' Michael looked at Mike, and Mike said, 'Sounds right to me.' That's how it was decided."