Today marks what would have been INXS frontman Michael Hutchence's 50th birthday. To pay tribute to the singer, who died in November 1997, his bandmates have released statements remembering his poetic gifts and personal achievements. Watch INXS in their prime with a 1991 performance of "Need You Tonight" from London's Wembley Stadium, then read on below as the three Farriss brothers, Kirk Pengilly and Gary Beers celebrate Michael's memory.
"Whilst INXS was on a world tour in 1986 I sat down on an upright piano and started working on the chords that would eventually become 'Never Tear Us Apart.' I thought it had potential and asked Michael what he thought of it. He told me he really liked it so I recorded a blues style demo for him. I gave the demo to Michael and the eventual lyric that he wrote was truly inspired. Straight from the heart. I know how much that lyric meant to him .... it was a personal love lyric very much in the moment for him. It still amazes me how this song and others we wrote have touched so many people around the world. Michael was a brilliant lyricist and I am very fortunate to have written with him and more importantly, shared his friendship."
"As a performer, he was one of the best.
As a humanitarian, he made you feel human.
As a singer, he was blessed with the constitution of an ox and never
As a friend, you felt like you were his best.
As a writer, he was an enlightened poet.
I will always remember him. Michael loved and embraced life in every
direction. So here's to you mate. See you when I see you..."
"INXS were/are a 'Band Of Brothers', literally. The original six, 'Band Of Brothers' sipping the wine, savouring the food and the fruits of our labour and lives spent together. Climbing the endless mountains, overcoming everything we possibly could.. and we did!! We did IT Michael!"
"There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of Michael. I feel privileged to have known Michael on so many levels. He was a confidant, a musical partner, a song-writing partner, a touring partner, a business partner, a performing partner, and a party partner, a 'Howdy Partner', a band mate, a live in flat mate and as an extension of my family. We are family."
"I first met Michael when he was about 13 years old. He became the lead singer of my first proper band with Andrew called Dr Dolphin. The things that really struck me about Michael back in those days was his compassion and his great sense of humour. I miss Michael, but luckily for me he lives on in my dreams."