Six Songs Inspired by INXS Frontman Michael Hutchence's Life and Death

Michael Putland/Getty Images
Michael Hutchence of INXS photographed in London in 1990. 

Here are six artists who’ve written songs about late INXS frontman Michael Hutchence.

 1. U2, “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of”
Album: All That You Can’t Leave Behind (2000)

Bono has said that the track is an imagined argument between him and his friend Hutchence about the foolishness of suicide. “The biggest respect I could pay to him was to not write some stupid, soppy song,” he said.

2. Duran Duran, “Michael You’ve Got a Lot to Answer For”
Album: Medazzaland (1997)

Simon Le Bon told Q magazine that the song, released shortly before Hutchence’s death, was about “Michael being a naughty boy ... when he was living with Paula Yates. He did like his substances.”

3. Smashing Pumpkins, “Shame”
Album: Adore (1998)

Pumpkins singer-songwriter Billy Corgan pondered what he would have told Hutchence in the days leading up to the INXS singer’s suicide. Sample lyrics: “You’re going to see this through/Don’t let them get to you.”

4. Berlin, “Sacred and Profane”
Album: Voyeur (2002)

Singer Terri Nunn remembers going to an early INXS concert in London and being amazed by Hutchence. "He came out on stage and within five minutes I was a puddle on the floor," she told Rolling Stone. Sample Lyrics: "Rock star, sing my song/Be my brand new toy/You're a Marvel Man/A fallen poster boy."

5. The Church, “This is It” 
Album: Hologram of Baal (1998)

INXS’ Australian psych-rock contemporaries recorded this song -- a reflection of what may have been going through Hutchence’s head on the day of his suicide, including a hint of his rumored autoerotic asphyxiation, with the lyric, “Yeah, he came and went.”

6. INXS, “God's Top Ten”
Album: Switch (2005)

This song was written by Andrew Farriss as a gift for Hutchence’s daughter Tiger Lily. Sample lyrics: “When you hear his songs on the radio/I don't need to tell you what you already know/He's in God's top ten where heaven never ends."

A version of this article originally appeared in the Oct. 28 issue of Billboard.