REM singer Michael Stipe says he’s 80 per cent gay but “hates” the term bisexual.

Speaking to the Observer, the 51-year-old singer said: “On a sliding scale of sexuality I’d place myself around 80-20, but I definitely prefer men to women. I had sex with, and enjoyed sex with, women until I met someone that I fell in love with, and who is now my boyfriend.”

He also revealed that he felt frightened in the 1980s by AIDS and where he fitted in.

He said: “I wasn’t troubled or confused, but I just felt there wasn’t a place for me. I hate and refuse to apply the term bisexual to myself. It doesn’t seem appropriate. It feels like just another label.

“For a time I was conflicted by how I was represented, and then AIDS came, and that’s an era that has still be to be spoken about in depth by people of my age. It was a very difficult time to be honest and frank about one’s sexuality. And a very scary time for people like myself, who were not able to be tested anonymously without some concern.”