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R.E.M gets song request from Serbian president

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Greeting members of the rock band R.E.M. in his Belgrade office, Serbia President Boris Tadic said he's a fan and requested that his favorite song, "Orange Crush," be played at their Friday concert.

Youthful and soft-spoken, Tadic, 46, is at the helm of a democratic leadership striving to open the troubled Balkan republic to the West after years of ostracism and isolation during the rule of Yugoslavia's ex-President Slobodan Milosevic.

Bringing world-famous artists to the country is part of that effort, said Nebojsa Krstic, head of Tadic's press team.

On Thursday, R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe presented Tadic with a copy of the band's new CD and Tadic gave the band a CD of Serbian ethnic music, "Serbia Sounds Global," saying he hoped the exotic sound might inspire new hits.