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The end of the world: R.E.M. calling it quits--video extra

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NEW YORK (AP) — R.I.P. to R.E.M.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame group announced on its website Wednesday that it has "decided to call it a day as a band."

"A wise man once said — 'the skill in attending a party is knowing when it's time to leave.' We built something extraordinary together. We did this thing. And now we're going to walk away from it," frontman Michael Stipe said in a statement on the website.

"I hope our fans realize this wasn't an easy decision; but all things must end, and we wanted to do it right, to do it our way."

The group, composed of Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck and bassist Mike Mills, released its debut album "Murmur" in 1983; at the time it was a quartet, with drummer Bill Berry. He left the group in 1997, two years after he suffered symptoms of an aneurysm onstage.

The group got its start in Athens, Ga., coming out of a flourishing indie-rock scene in the region. It's credited for helping launch college radio with songs such as "Radio Free Europe." Later, the mainstream caught on, and they became chart-topping rockers, selling millions of albums with hits like "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)," ''Losing My Religion" and "Everybody Hurts."


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