After a 13-week public audition, J.D. Fortune has been named the new frontman of rock group INXS.
After a 13-week public audition, J.D. Fortune has been named the new frontman of rock group INXS. The one-time homeless singer was selected by the band from a field of 15 that had been whittled to three for last night's (Sept. 20) finale of the reality show CBS' "Rock Star: INXS."
"Tonight we become a complete band again," INXS guitarist Tim Farriss said as he informed the hopefuls and the viewing audience of the band's choice.
"J.D. has a slightly dangerous edge and will bring a sense of spontaneity to our live show," Farriss says in a statement released today. "In addition, he has both the star quality we were looking for and is an inspired lyricist. I think he'll grow with us on all levels."
The single "Pretty Vegas," recorded before the final show's taping, will be made available to U.S. radio outlets today via the band's new label, Sony BMG's Epic Records. It will be sold exclusively through Apple's iTunes music store for two weeks beginning Oct. 4.
The band plans to hit the studio immediately with producer Guy Chambers (Robbie Williams) to record "Switch." Its first new studio album since 1997 will be released Nov. 29. Ahead of a world tour that opens in January, the band will appear Friday on CBS' "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and on Oct. 17 will perform at Los Angeles' new Virgin Megastore (Hollywood and Highland).
It was Fortune's performance last night of INXS' 1986 hit "What You Need" that convinced band members to choose him over Marty Casey, who performed the group's 1983 breakthrough single "Don't Change" during the second performance stage of last night's show. Third finalist MiG Ayesa was eliminated after a first round of performances with the show's house band.
"It's an understatement to say that this is a dream come true," says Fortune. "Growing up, INXS albums like 'Shabooh Shoobah,' 'Listen Like Thieves' and 'Kick' were a huge musical influence on me. I'd listen to their songs and wonder what it would be like to be in this band. That they've chosen me to be their new lead singer is just mind-blowing."
The Australian band has been without a permanent singer since the November 1997 death of Michael Hutchence. The surviving members -- brothers Tim and Andrew Farriss (keyboards/guitar), Kirk Pengilly (guitar), Garry Beers (bass) and Jon Farris (drums) -- hatched the global search for a new vocalist with television producer Mark Burnett ("Survivor"). The reality show also featured substantial input from guitarist Dave Navarro (Jane's Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers) and was hosted by Brooke Burke.