"To our Fans and Friends: As R.E.M., and as lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band. We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished. To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening. R.E.M."
It wasn't long until fans took to Twitter to express their shock, apathy and - in true Twitter fashion - jokes. Many claimed they didn't even realized the band was still together.
Credit: Odd Andersen/Getty Images
"MUSIC: rock band REM call it quits - office managers, local DJ's and fathers over 40 distraught at news." -DMReporter
"Dave's playing 'It's the end of the world as we know it' on repeat. Not sure if it's a tribute to REM or because of new Facebook" -HAL9000_
"The sad thing about the REM breakup, is how uneventful it was. No more than a blip in the musical landscape of today. Its scary really" -jaimearodriguez