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Michael Hutchence was the lead singer of the band INXS, a popular rock group in the 1980s and 1990s.
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Michael Hutchence was born on January 22, 1960, in Sydney, Australia. In high school he formed the band The Farriss Brothers which became INXS. They released a self-titled debut album in 1980 which was a hit in Australia. They reached the American audience through heavy video rotation on MTV and their album Kick became a huge international hit. Hutchence was found dead by hanging in 1997.
Michael Kelland John Hutchence was born on January 22, 1960, in Sydney, Australia. A vibrant and sensual performer, Michael Hutchence was the lead singer of INXS, a popular rock group in the 1980s and '90s. The son of a makeup artist and a businessman, he spent part of his childhood in Hong Kong. Hutchence grew up listening to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, among others. In high school, he met keyboardist and guitarist Andrew Farriss, and the two became friends and bandmates. They formed a band with bassist Gary Beers. Later on, Farriss brothers, Tim, a guitarist, and Jon, a drummer, joined the group along with Kirk Pengilly, who played guitar and saxophone, forming what was then called the Farriss Brothers.
After high school, Hutchence went to Perth with the band and played in some clubs there without a lot of success. They returned to Sydney and renamed themselves INXS. Landing a recording contract, the group released its first self-titled album in 1980. The group's first hit in Australia was "Just Keep Walking," and with their powerful live shows, they began to attract quite a following. With elements of funk and new wave, the band had a distinctive sound. Hutchence's strong vocals also won people over. He had great charisma and sex appeal, with some comparing him to Mick Jagger or Jim Morrison.
Their second album, Underneath the Colours, was also popular with their Australian fans. This led to their first U.S. album, Shabooh Shoobah (1982), which featured "The One Thing" and "Don't Change." Arriving on the American music scene during the rise of music videos, the group's videos got a lot of airplay on MTV, which helped propel their career. Their next few albums featured such hits as "Original Sin," "What You Need" and "Listen Like Thieves."
In 1987, INXS released its most successful album, Kick. The song "Need You Tonight" reached the top of the charts while "Devil Inside," "Never Tear Us Apart" and "New Sensation," broke into the Top 10. Along with the band's meteoric rise, Hutchence himself was extremely popular with his personable charm and good looks. He even took time away from the group for his own projects. He made his film debut in Dogs in Space (1987) and recorded with Ollie Olsen as Max Q in 1989, but the resulting self-titled album failed to garner much attention.
In 1990, INXS released X, which failed to reach the heights of Kick. It did make it to the top 5 of the album charts and contained the top 10 hit "Suicide Blonde."The group did not fare as well with its consequent albums, but remained a popular live act, drawing large crowds to their shows.
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They make music with instruments they were born with - their voices. Gifted vocalists have entertained audiences across musical genres from the tour de force arias of Luciano Pavarotti to the classic crooning of Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett to the soulful vocals of artists like Aretha Franklin and Mahalia Jackson. With their powerful lyricism, singers like Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and Bruce Springsteen became poet laureates of American music while artists including Joan Baez and Joe Strummer used their voices to prompt social change while they entertained. Rockers from Elvis Presley to The Beatles to Kurt Cobain helped define their generations through their songs while icons like Michael Jackson, Cher and Whitney Houston shaped pop culture with their larger-than-life voices and personas. See these and more famous singers who have struck a chord in musical history.
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