Two years after he was originally sacked – reportedly with an abrupt handshake farewell at an airport – reality TV star and JD Fortune has been axed again as lead singer for Australian rock stalwarts INXS.

Following the death of legendary INXS frontman Michael Hutchence in 1997 his bandmates – brothers Tim, Jon and Andrew Farriss; Kirk Pengilly and Garry Gary Beers – horrified fans by signing up to Rock Star: INXS, a televised talent quest to find a new singer. They discovered Nova Scotian JD Fortune, real name Jason Dean Bennison, on the program.

Other singers who have performed vocal duties with the group include Jimmy Barnes, Terence Trent D’Arby and Jon Stevens, while artists including Ben Harper, Rob Thomas and Dan Sultan contributed to Hutchence tribute album Original Sin. 

After his Rock Star: INXS win JD launched right into recording an album with the band – 2005’s Switch, which apparently sold a million copies, despite being universally panned – and touring in support of the record. His self-confessed coke habit saw his dream job fall to pieces and, according to reports, soon had him living out of his car.

This week JD posted on Twitter: “As of now I have not been invited to be a part of INXS’s new music.”

No official word has been forthcoming from the band, though a press release is expected to be released within days. Presumably, they will continue to search for a “replacement” for Michael though with the 15-year anniversary of the charismatic singer’s death looming, fans might hope the quest is laid to rest as well.


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