NME.COM

STIPE ME IF YOU'VE HEARD THIS ONE BEFORE!

Organisers are hoping the two acts will team up for the performance of a lifetime at this year's ceremony...

REM have been approached to do a duet with ex-SMITHS vocalist MORRISSEY at this year's BRIT AWARDS, NME.COM can exclusively reveal.

An awards insider told NME.COM this afternoon (January 19) that the seminal US rockers are "in the running" to perform at this year's awards as part of the promotion for their forthcoming new album 'Reveal'.

He said: "REM are definitely in the running to open the event, but they're trying to pull Morrissey into doing it as well. They're frantically trying to contact him as we speak!"

If the collaboration does come off, it will mark a sensational return to the UK for the singer, who has maintained a low UK profile since his last tour in November and December 1999. Last year, he toured the US and South America, but remained outside the UK.

During the '80s, The Smiths and REM had a mutual respect, and it was reported that Stipe and Morrissey became friends. It is unclear whether the pair have remained in recent contact.

An official spokesperson for The Brit awards confirmed that REM are on their "target list" this year, but stressed that a decision on their performance was yet to be made by the band.

The official spokesperson for REM has denied the band will have any involvement with this year's awards, saying that the band have no plans to visit Europe in the near future.

The Brit Awards have a history of high profile artists collaborating on stage. In recent years PJ Harvey has duetted with Bjork, David Bowie duetted with Placebo, Jamiroquai's Jay Kay performed with Diana Ross, and Robbie Williams andTom Jones blasted through a 'Full Monty' medley in 1998.

If the REM/Morrissey duet does occur, it is unclear what song will be performed. This year's awards take place at Earl's Court in London on February 26.

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