Michael Stipe thanks Slade, David Bowie and Marc Bolan for making him question his sexuality.

The R.E.M. singer - who lives in New York with his long-term boyfriend, photographer Thomas Dozol - is thankful to the musicians he listened to in the 70s and during his teenage years because they helped him realise he was attracted to men.

He said: "I'd love to reform Slade. It'd be awesome. I have their greatest hits on my phone. When David Bowie put out 'Young Americans', suddenly a lot of Americans under 18 who hadn't questioned their sexuality… he started us on the whole kinda glam thing and, you know, Marc Bolan. And Slade just had the hair and the outfits, you know what I'm talking about."

Despite being secretive about his sexuality over the years, the frontman isn't worried about how he is perceived by others anymore.

He explained to Britain's The Times newspaper: "Gazing towards my 50th birthday, I really feel like what's more important is the impact I might have on the people around me than what others think of me."