Rock band REM's lead singer Michael Stipe has today said he is gay. The statement ending years of "speculation".
The 41-year-old singer told Timemagazine he was a "queer artist" who had been in a relationship with a man for three years.
His announcement comes after years of gossip about his sexuality and malicious and false rumours he had AIDS.
His statement comes as the band promotes a new album, Revealwhich was produced in Ireland.
Today Stipe told the magazine he believed it was the right time to state his sexuality.
"I was being made to be a coward about it rather than someone who felt like it really was a very private thing," he told the magazine.
He said he had been in a relationship for about three years, describing his partner as "an amazing man" and adding it was not a celebrity.
Stipe had previously said he did not think of himself as straight, gay or bisexual and had been in relationships with both men or women, saying: "I'm an equal-opportunity lech."