See Patti Smith Celebrate 70th Birthday With Michael Stipe - Rolling Stone
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See Patti Smith Celebrate 70th Birthday With Michael Stipe in Chicago

Former R.E.M. singer leads crowd in rendition of “Happy Birthday to You,” performs “People Have the Power” with band

Patti Smith celebrated her 70th birthday Friday with a concert at the Riviera Theatre in Chicago, the city where she was born in 1946. During the performance, former R.E.M. singer Michael Stipe made a surprise appearance onstage to present Smith with a cake and lead the audience in a rendition of “Happy Birthday to You.”

Stipe, who first returned to the stage following R.E.M.’s split as an unannounced opening act during Smith’s New York concerts in December 2014, also joined Smith and her band on their rendition of “People Have the Power.”

Smith’s 70th birthday celebration in Chicago comes just three days after the singer hosted her longtime guitarist Lenny Kaye’s 70th Birthday Bash on December 27th at New York’s Bowery Ballroom. 

That gig featured Patti Smith and her band debut their cover of Blue Öyster Cult’s “Astronomy” alongside BÖC’s Albert Bouchard; Smith, who often penned lyrics for BÖC, once again tackled the song Friday night in Chicago with Smith and Kaye sharing vocals.

Smith and her band will spend New Year’s Eve performing at Chicago’s Park West venue.

In This Article: Michael Stipe, Patti Smith


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