Happy Birthday today (Jan.4 ) to frontman Michael Stipe of R.E.M. who turns 58. Also today, we remember Peter Steele of Type O Negative who would have been 56.

Michael Stipe was R.E.M. singer from the when the band formed in 1980 until their split in 2011. R.E.M. were one of the first popular alternative rock band’s. They first achieved mainstream success in 1987 with the single “The One I Love” and signed to Warner Bros. Records in 1988. The band’s two most commercially successful releases were in the early 1990’s with 1991’s Out of Time and 1992’s Automatic for the People. The band rose to International fame and saw success continue with 1994’s Monster. The band re-signed with Warner Bros. for a reported $80 million in 1996 and released the album New Adventures in Hi-Fi. A year later, drummer Bill Berry left the band. The band continued to record and tour as a trio. R.E.M. sold over 85 million records worldwide and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. The band split up in Sept. of 2011. Cheers to Michael Stipe on his birthday today!

Goth metal band Type O Negative formed out of Brooklyn. NY in 1989 with singer Peter Steele, guitarist Kenny Hickey, keyboardist Josh Silver, and drummer Sal Abruscato. Johnny Kelly would replace Abruscato on drums in 1994. Albums included the platinum selling 1993 album Bloody Kisses, and 1996's October Rust. Peter Steele died of heart failure on April 18, 2010 at the age of 48. I have many fond memories of seeing Type O Negative many times over the years at clubs throughout CT and NY. Also saw them open for Queensryche once. Peter Steele and Type O Negative are very much missed. Just an awesome band.

Peter Steele/Youtube