Multi-instrumentalist who helped found alternative rock group R.E.M. He also helped write many of R.E.M.'s hits.
He met his future bandmate Bill Berry while in high school and Michael Stipe and Peter Buck while attending college at the University of Georgia. He eventually dropped out of college to focus on the band's music.
He was credited with composing "Nightswimming," "Find the River," "At My Most Beautiful," "Wendell Gee," "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" and was the driving creative force behind "Around the Sun," the band's 2004 album.
He has a son named Julian.
He provided backing vocals for "Erin," a track on "Ghost in My Head," Jill Hennessy's 2009 album.