Michael Stipe attends the Theyskens' Theory Spring 2012 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Center 548 on September 13n in New York (WireImage)

Michael Stipe attends the Theyskens' Theory Spring 2012 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Center 548 on September 13n in New York (WireImage)

R.E.M., the legendary rock band formed in 1980 that has spawned 15 albums, has broken up, according to a statement on its website.

In a statement, the band said it was “calling it a day.”

“To our Fans and Friends: As R.E.M., and as lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band,” the statement read.

“A wise man once said–‘the skill in attending a party is knowing when it’s time to leave,'” said Michael Stipe. “We built something extraordinary together. We did this thing. And now we’re going to walk away from it.”

The band’s website has been slow all afternoon, likely bogged down with a surge of visitors looking for information.

“During our last tour, and while making Collapse Into Now and putting together this greatest hits retrospective, we started asking ourselves, ‘what next’? Working through our music and memories from over three decades was a hell of a journey. We realized that these songs seemed to draw a natural line under the last 31 years of our working together,” said Mike Mills. “We have always been a band in the truest sense of the word. Brothers who truly love, and respect, each other. We feel kind of like pioneers in this–there’s no disharmony here, no falling-outs, no lawyers squaring-off. We’ve made this decision together, amicably and with each other’s best interests at heart. The time just feels right.”

About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at guilfoil.j@blastmagazine.com. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

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