Watch Michael Stipe sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Patti Smith at Chicago gig

Punk icon turned 70 yesterday (December 30) and performed her seminal album 'Horses' in full.

Michael Stipe helped to wish Patti Smith a happy birthday at her gig in Chicago last night (December 30).

On the day of her 70th birthday, the punk icon performed her seminal album ‘Horses’ in full at the city’s Riviera Theater. During the concert, the R.E.M. frontman joined Smith on stage to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ and present her with a cake.

Confetti showered the crowd as they sang along to Smith’s birthday song. Watch video footage shared by fans below.


Stipe and Smith are longtime friends and collaborators. Smith sings backing vocals on the R.E.M. songs ‘Blue’ and ‘E-Bow The Letter’.

She recently sang Bob Dylan’s ‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall’ at the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony in Stockholm, but had to stop the orchestra she was performing with as she appeared to forget the lyrics.

She later wrote of the incident: “Unaccustomed to such an overwhelming case of nerves, I was unable to continue. I hadn’t forgotten the words that were now a part of me. I was simply unable to draw them out.”

She added: “As I took my seat, I felt the humiliating sting of failure, but also the strange realization that I had somehow entered and truly lived the world of the lyrics.”


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