Frederick William "Fred" Schneider III (born July 1, 1951) is an American vocalist, best known as the frontman of the rock band the B-52's, of which he is a founding member. Schneider is well known for his sprechgesang, which he developed from reciting poetry over guitars.
Schneider was born in Newark, New Jersey. He has stated that his musical influences included "Halloween songs and nutty Christmas songs" along with "Motown". In college, he wrote a book of poetry for his final project. After college, he held down jobs as a janitor as well as a Meals on Wheels driver.
As of July 2012 Schneider was living on Long Island, New York.
Schneider discussed his experience of coming out as gay to his mother with Howard Stern on the latter's radio broadcast on February 22, 2010. He said that his mother always knew more about her son than he knew about himself, and he said he came out of the closet while she was vacuum-cleaning. His mother replied with "Oh I know, Freddie" and continued vacuuming without missing a beat. Schneider said his reaction was: "It's like, well, OK. I guess I'll go back outside and smoke some pot."
He is a lifelong vegetarian, and he appeared in a PETA ad campaign discouraging people from eating lobsters.