Michael Stipe has "finished the songs" for his debut solo album.

Fans of Stipe's former band R.E.M. have been patiently waiting since the American band split in 2011 for Stipe, 63, to release a new album under his own name.

The "What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?" singer has now revealed that he is at a point where he is happy with the tracks and has set himself a deadline to release the album.

In an interview with The New York Times, he said, "I have a deadline now. I could keep working on this record for a decade and let my insecurities get the better of me. We can say ... that I finished the songs."

Stipe also explained that the record was delayed over the past 18 months by the COVID pandemic, and his own experience of the respiratory illness, family emergencies, a house move and writer's block.

Referring to the interruptions over the the past several months, he added, "Life got in the way."

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In May 2023, Stipe spent a week at Electric Lady Studios in Greenwich Village, New York, the recording studio opened by Jimi Hendrix in 1970 and met Taylor Swift, her producer Jack Antonoff and 1975 frontman Matty Healy, with the latter two telling him they were R.E.M fans.

In a previous interview with Departures, the singer revealed that he felt free to be working on a collection of songs with no pressure from a label.

He said: “I’m working on a solo album, my first. I’m collaborating with a bunch of different musicians and each of those songs, if I get my way, which I think I will because I’m paying for it, will be very different. I have no management. I have no label. For the first time in my adult life, I don’t have a contract with anyone except myself. So I get to do whatever I want. Anyway, there will be a visual representation for each of the songs, and it should come together next year. I’m hoping to build slowly.”

The 49 Rock + Metal Songs With Over One Billion Spotify Streams

Recapping the rock and metal songs that have eclipsed one billion streams on Spotify.

NOT INCLUDED: The definition of rock is incredibly broad today and, in this list, we've elected not to include pop/rock acts such as Imagine Dragons, Maroon 5, Twenty One Pilots, 5 Seconds of Summer, Coldplay, Goo Goo Dolls, Gym Class heroes and Train. 

Gallery Credit: Joe DiVita

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