Michael Stipe is proud to have "saved" lives with his music.

Michael Stipe

Michael Stipe

The former R.E.M. frontman admits hearing how the group's song 'Everybody Hurts' has touched their fans' lives is as good as winning an Oscar for him.

He said of the song: "It saved a few [lives]. People have told me. And I love hearing that.

"That for me, that's my Oscar, that's my gold on a shelf right there... that something we did impacted someone's life in such a profound way. That's a beautiful thing."

R.E.M. split in 2011 and Michael thinks it was the right time to call it a day as he has retained his friendships with Peter Buck and Mike Mills.

He said: "I think we did pretty well. I man, I actually think our time was pretty spot on.

"Now I get to hang out with Mike and Peter and we're friends and we have this whole thing to share together.

"But there's none of the bad tension that we had at our worst of times. All the good tension is there."

And Peter thinks it was important to quit while they were ahead.

Peter added to MOJO magazine: "The good thing is we've kept our friendship so I don't miss them as people. You know, every band, whether it's U2 or The Rolling Stones, you get to a point where your past is more important than your present.

"As much as you fight against it, that's what happens. I just don't think any of us are the kind of people that want to be doing our greatest songs from 25 or 30 years years ago. The celebration of what we used to do.

"That's great, but I'll let other people do it."

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