Former R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe has undergone years of therapy in a bid to overcome his crippling shyness and insecurities.

The Losing My Religion singer has revealed he has been "in therapy for years", adding that his inability to articulate his thoughts was the key reason he sought professional help.

Stipe also claims a breakdown in the 1980s left him feeling like "a different person".

He tells Britain's The Sun newspaper, "I've been in therapy for years over my insecurities about lack of articulation. Early on, for me to even finish a sentence was a near impossible task. I had hair in front of my face. I was really, really, really shy and did not anticipate that I would actually have to talk about my work and look people in the eye.

"By the mid-80s, I had my big nervous breakdown, which lasted 18 months. But I emerged out of that a different person and I've learned how to articulate my thoughts. I've learned how to sit there without sweating and shaking. I grew out of my shyness."