kids encyclopedia robot

Michael Hutchence facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Michael Hutchence
Hutchence in 1986
Michael Kelland John Hutchence

(1960-01-22)22 January 1960
Sydney, Australia
Died 22 November 1997(1997-11-22) (aged 37)
Sydney, Australia
  • Musician
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • actor
Years active 1977–1997
Children 1
Musical career
  • Vocals
  • guitar
Associated acts

Michael Kelland John Hutchence (22 January 1960 – 22 November 1997) was an Australian musician, singer-songwriter and actor. Hutchence co-founded the rock band INXS, which sold over 75 million records worldwide and was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2001. He was the lead singer and lyricist of INXS from 1977 until his death.

Hutchence was a member of the short-lived pop rock group Max Q. He also recorded some solo material and acted in feature films, including Dogs in Space (1986), Frankenstein Unbound (1990), and Limp (1999).

Early life

Hutchence was born on 22 January 1960, to Sydney businessman Kelland "Kell" Frank Hutchence and make-up artist Patricia Glassop. His paternal grandparents were English and settled in Sydney in 1922. Michael joined elder half-sister Tina; both siblings were of Irish ancestry from their mother's side, as Patricia's father was from County Cork in Ireland.

Following Kell's business interests, the Hutchence family moved to Brisbane (where younger brother Rhett was born) and later to Hong Kong. During the early years in Hong Kong, both boys attended Glenealy Junior School on Hong Kong Island and Beacon Hill School in Kowloon Tong. While in Hong Kong, Michael showed promise as a swimmer before breaking his arm badly. He then began to show interest in poetry and performed his first song in a local toy store commercial. Michael attended King George V School during his early teens.

The family returned to Sydney in 1972, buying a house in Belrose near the Northern Beaches. Hutchence attended Davidson High School, where he met and befriended Andrew Farriss. Around this time, Hutchence and Farriss spent a lot of time jamming in the garage with Andrew's brothers. Farriss then convinced Hutchence to join his band, Doctor Dolphin, alongside classmates Kent Kerny and Neil Sanders. Bass guitarist Garry Beers and drummer Geoff Kennelly from nearby Forest High School filled out the line-up. Hutchence's parents separated when he was 15; for a short time in 1976, he lived with his mother and half-sister Tina in California. Hutchence later returned to Sydney with his mother.

In 1977, a new band, the Farriss Brothers, was formed with Tim Farriss on lead guitar, his younger brother Andrew as keyboardist, and youngest brother Jon on drums. Andrew brought Hutchence on board as a vocalist and Beers on bass guitar, and Tim brought in his former bandmate Kirk Pengilly to play guitar and saxophone. The band made their debut on 16 August 1977 at Whale Beach, 40 km (25 mi) north of Sydney.


Early career

Hutchence, the Farriss brothers, Kerny, Sanders, Beers and Kennelly briefly performed as The Vegetables, singing "We Are the Vegetables". Ten months later, they returned to Sydney and recorded a set of demos. The Farriss Brothers regularly supported hard rockers Midnight Oil on the pub rock circuit, and were renamed as INXS in 1979. Their first performance under the new name was on 1 September at the Oceanview Hotel in Toukley. In May 1980, the group released their first single, "Simple Simon"/"We Are the Vegetables" which was followed by the debut album INXS in October. Their first Top 40 Australian hit on the Kent Music Report Singles Chart, "Just Keep Walking", was released in September 1980.

Hutchence became the main spokesman for the band. He co-wrote almost all of INXS's songs with Andrew Farriss.

According to Hutchence, most of the songs on the band's second album, Underneath the Colours, were written within a fairly short space of time: "Most bands shudder at the prospect of having 20 years to write their first album and four days to write their second. For us, though, it was good. It left less room for us to go off on all sorts of tangents". Soon after recording sessions for Underneath the Colours – produced by Richard Clapton – had finished, band members started work on outside projects. Hutchence recorded "Speed Kills", written by Don Walker of hard rockers Cold Chisel, for the Freedom (1982) film soundtrack, directed by Scott Hicks. It was Hutchence's first solo single and was released by WEA in early 1982.

Stardom and acting career

In March 1985, after Hutchence and INXS recorded their album The Swing (1984), WEA released the Australian version of Dekadance, as a limited edition cassette only EP of six tracks including remixes from the album. The cassette also included a cover version of Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood's hit "Jackson", which Hutchence sang as a duet with Jenny Morris, a backing singer for The Swing sessions. The EP reached No 2 on the Kent Music Report Albums Chart. Hutchence provided vocals for new wave band Beargarden's 1985 single release.

On 19 May, INXS won seven awards at the 1984 Countdown Music and Video Awards ceremony, including 'Best Songwriter' for Hutchence and Andrew, and 'Most Popular Male' for Hutchence. They performed "Burn for You", dressed in Akubras (a brand of hats) and Drizabones (a brand of outdoor coats/oilskin jackets) followed by Hutchence and Morris singing "Jackson" to close.

In 1986, Hutchence played Sam, the lead male role, in the Australian film Dogs in Space, directed by long-time INXS music video collaborator Richard Lowenstein. Sam's girlfriend, Anna, was portrayed by Saskia Post as a "fragile peroxide blonde in op-shop clothes". Hutchence provided four songs on the film's soundtrack. Also working on the film and its soundtrack, as music director, was Ollie Olsen (ex-Whirlywirld).

Late in 1986, before commencing work on a new INXS album and while supposedly taking an eight-month break, the band's management decided to stage the Australian Made tour as a series of major outdoor concerts across the country. The roster featured INXS, Jimmy Barnes (Cold Chisel), Models, Divinyls, Mental as Anything, The Triffids and I'm Talking. To promote the tour, Hutchence and Barnes shared vocals on The Easybeats cover "Good Times" and "Laying Down the Law", which Barnes cowrote with Beers, Andrew Farriss, Jon Farriss, Hutchence and Pengilly. "Good Times" was used as the theme for the concert series of 1986–1987. It peaked at No. 2 on the Australian charts, and months later was featured in the Joel Schumacher film The Lost Boys and its soundtrack, allowing it to peak at No. 47 in the U.S. on 1 August 1987. Divinyls' lead singer Chrissy Amphlett enjoyed the tour and reconnected with Hutchence, stating that "[he] was a sweet man, who said in one interview that he wanted me to have his baby."

In 1987, Hutchence provided vocals for Richard Clapton's album Glory Road, which was produced by Jon Farriss.

INXS released Kick in October 1987, and the album provided the band with worldwide popularity. Kick peaked at No. 1 in Australia, No. 3 on the US Billboard 200, No. 9 in UK, and No. 15 in Austria. The band's most successful studio album, Kick has been certified six times platinum by the RIAA and spawned four US top 10 singles ("New Sensation", "Never Tear Us Apart", "Devil Inside" and "Need You Tonight", the last of which reached the top of the US Billboard singles charts). In September 1988, the band swept the MTV Video Music Awards with the video for "Need You Tonight/Mediate" winning in five categories.

In 1989, Hutchence collaborated further with Olsen for the Max Q project, and was joined by members of Olsen's previous groups including Whirlywirld, No and Orchestra of Skin and Bone. They released a self-titled album and three singles, "Way of the World", "Sometimes" and "Monday Night by Satellite". Max Q disbanded in 1990. Max Q showed Hutchence exploring the darker side of his music and, with Olsen, he created "one of the most innovative dance music albums of the decade". Hutchence wrote most of the music and provided "an extraordinary performance ... it was one of the most significant statements Hutchence was to make". In 1990, Hutchence portrayed nineteenth-century Romantic poet Percy Shelley in Roger Corman's film version of Frankenstein Unbound, which was based on a science fiction time travel story of the same name written by Brian Aldiss.

In 1990, INXS released X, which spawned more international hits such as "Disappear" ( Top 10 in the US). Hutchence won the 'Best International Artist' at the 1991 BRIT Awards with INXS winning the related group award. Hutchence provided vocals for pub rockers Noiseworks' album, Love Versus Money (1991).

Michael Hutchence on stage
January 1994, on stage during the Dirty Honeymoon world tour

Welcome to Wherever You Are was released by INXS in August 1992. It received good critical reviews and went to No. 1 in the UK.

Later career

Hutchence and INXS faced reduced commercial success with Full Moon, Dirty Hearts, especially in the U.S. The band took time off to rest and be with their families, while Hutchence remained in the public eye through his romances. He commenced work on a self-titled solo album in the mid-1990s.

After a period of inactivity and releases that received lukewarm reviews, INXS recorded the band's 10th official album, Elegantly Wasted, in 1996.


Hutchence was a baritone. His vocal range spanned from the bass B1 to the high tenor F#5. In 2013, ranked Hutchence fourth in a list of the 15 greatest Australian singers of all time.

Personal life

Hutchence was romantically linked to Kylie Minogue, Belinda Carlisle, Helena Christensen, and Kym Wilson.

In the mid-1990s, Hutchence became romantically involved with Paula Yates. They met in 1985, during an interview for the British TV program, The Tube. On 22 July 1996, Yates gave birth to her daughter with Hutchence.


[[File:Hutchence_memorial_at_Northern_Suburbs_Crematorium.jpg|thumb|right|Hutchence memorial at Hutchence died on 22 November 1997, aged 37, at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Double Bay, Sydney.

Later developments

After Hutchence's death, INXS continued recording and performing until 2012. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), INXS has sold 30 million units in the United States alone, making them the second highest-selling Australian music act in the United States, behind AC/DC. INXS has sold over 75 million records worldwide. INXS was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2001.

Hutchence's solo album, Michael Hutchence, was released in October 1999. He had started on the album in 1995, recording songs in between INXS sessions; he had last worked on it three days before his death. The last song he recorded was "Possibilities". The album includes "Slide Away", a duet with U2's Bono; Bono's vocals were recorded after Hutchence's death.

A documentary about Hutchence, Michael Hutchence: The Last Rockstar, aired in 2017. In 2019, Mystify: Michael Hutchence—another documentary about Hutchence's life—was released.


Posthumous albums

Title Details Peak chart positions Certifications
Michael Hutchence
  • Released: 14 December 1999
  • Label: V2
3 90
Mystify: A Musical Journey with Michael Hutchence
  • Released: 5 July 2019
  • Label: Petrol


Title Release Peak chart positions Album
"Speed Kills" 1981 non-album single
"Rooms for the Memory" 1986 11 Dogs in Space soundtrack
"A Straight Line" 1999 44 Michael Hutchence
"Friction" 2015 non-album single
"Spill the Wine" 2019 Mystify: A Musical Journey with Michael Hutchence

Awards and nominations

APRA Awards

The APRA Awards are presented annually from 1982 by the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA), "honouring composers and songwriters". They commenced in 1982.

Year Nominated work Award Result Ref.
2021 "Break My Heart" by Dua Lipa (Andrew Farriss, Michael Hutchence, Dua Lipa, Jordan Johnson, Stefan Johnson, Ali Tamposi, Andrew Watt) Song of the Year Shortlisted
Most Performed Pop Work Nominated
Most Performed Australian Work Nominated

Countdown Australian Music Awards

Countdown was an Australian pop music TV series on national broadcaster ABC-TV from 1974 to 1987, it presented music awards from 1979 to 1987, initially in conjunction with magazine TV Week. The TV Week / Countdown Awards were a combination of popular-voted and peer-voted awards.

Year Nominated work Award Result
1984 himself (with Andrew Farriss) Best Songwriter Won
himself Most Popular Male Performer Won
himself ("Burn for You" by INXS) Best Male Performance in a Video Nominated
1986 himself Most Popular Male Performer Nominated

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Michael Hutchence para niños

kids search engine
Michael Hutchence Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.