Series to choose new lead singer.
Veteran rock group INXS has emerged from the land down under with a new record deal and a very public search for a new singer.
The band will use a reality show, 'Rock Star: INXS,' to replace late frontman Michael Hutchence, who committed suicide in 1997. The show premieres July 11 on CBS and follows the band as it auditions replacements. The series is executive-produced by Mark Burnett, who's reality show credits include 'Survivor' and 'The Apprentice.' During the show's 13 week run the band, which formed in 1977 in Sydney, Australia, will assess a group of 15 candidates in an 'American Idol'-like competition, ultimately choosing one as the new lead singer.
The rock act has inked a new recording deal with Epic Records/SonyBMG and plans to release its new album in late 2005 which will feature the winner from the reality series competition. Legendary A&R man John Kalodner, who helped resurrect Aerosmith's career at Geffen in the late 80s, will serve as A&R consultant on the band's album.
The new album will be the first since the band's 1997 effort, Elegantly Wasted (Polygram Records), which was the last with Hutchence.