INXS were an Australian rock band, formed as The Farriss Brothers in 1977 in Sydney, New South Wales. They began playing covers in Western Australian pubs and clubs, occasionally playing some of their original music. The band’s founding members were bassist Garry Gary Beers, main composer and keyboardist Andrew Farriss, drummer Jon Farriss, guitarist Tim Farriss, lead singer and main lyricist Michael Hutchence, and guitarist and saxophonist Kirk Pengilly.
For twenty years, INXS was fronted by Hutchence, whose “sultry good looks” and magnetic stage presence made him the focal point of the band. Initially known for their new wave/pop style, the band later developed a harder pub rock style that included funk and dance elements.
In 1980, INXS first charted in their native Australia with their debut self-titled album, but later garnered moderate success in other countries with Shabooh Shoobah and a single, “The One Thing”. Though The Swing brought more success from around the world, its single “Original Sin” was even greater commercially, becoming their first number-one single in Australia. The band would later achieve international success with a series of hit recordings in the mid-to-late 1980s and the early 1990s, including the albums Listen Like Thieves, Kick, and X, and the singles “What You Need”, “Need You Tonight” (the band’s first and only number-one single in the United States), “Devil Inside”, “Never Tear Us Apart”, and “Suicide Blonde”.
In the 1990s, INXS achieved a new fan following through Hutchence’s romance with fellow Australian singer Kylie Minogue, and achieved greater acclaim in the United Kingdom. However, starting with Welcome to Wherever You Are in 1992, they achieved less success in the United States.
Michael Hutchence was found dead in his hotel suite in Sydney in November 1997. Following Hutchence’s death, INXS did not perform publicly for a year; after that, they made appearances with several guest singers and toured and recorded with Jon Stevens as lead singer beginning in 2002.
In 2005, members of INXS participated in Rock Star: INXS, a reality television series broadcast worldwide, culminating in the selection of their new lead singer, Canadian J.D. Fortune. In September 2011, the band announced that Irish singer-songwriter Ciaran Gribbin had replaced Fortune as their lead vocalist ahead of a planned tour of South America, Australia and Europe later in the year.
On November 11, 2012, during their performance as support act to Matchbox Twenty at Perth Arena, Australia, INXS announced that the performance would be their last, though they did not officially announce a permanent band retirement.
INXS won six Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) awards, including three for ‘Best Group’ in 1987, 1989 and 1992 the band was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2001. INXS has sold over 55 million records worldwide.