Watch Michael Stipe Sing Nat King Cole’s ‘Nature Boy’ at Jeremy Ayers’ Memorial

When Athens arts icon Jeremy Ayers died in October, it inspired an outpouring of tributes and remembrances from his friends, who described his kindness, generosity and abiding love of both people and the natural world.

Last month, a memorial for Ayers took place at the Morton Theatre downtown, where friends and family gathered to celebrate his life.

Among the attendees was R.E.M. singer Michael Stipe, who took to the Morton stage to sing “Nature Boy,” a song written by proto-hippie hero eden ahbez and made famous by Nat King Cole in the 1940s. 

Watch Stipe and producer Andy LeMaster perform the sparse, haunting tune in the video below, shot by filmmaker and former Athenian Lance Bangs: