Canada's JD Fortune Reflects On Fronting INXS


Canadian singer JD Fortune has said being picked to replace the late Michael Hutchence as frontman of INXS felt like replacing Elvis Presley or Jim Morrison.

“It was incredibly, incredibly intimidating,” the 49-year-old told Rolling Stone about filling the shoes of Huitchence, who died in 1997 at 37.

Fortune, who was born Jason Bennison in Ontario and grew up in Nova Scotia, won the 2005 competition series Rock Star: INXS and was thrust into a global spotlight. He appeared on the Australian band’s 2005 album Switch and on tour.

“I literally played shows where people seemed to be scowling during the first three songs. They were like, ‘You better be f**kin’ good, man.’ By the end of the night, they were rockin’ and rollin’.”

Fortune admitted he was using hard drugs while with the band. “I would call it ‘running’,” he explained. “I would go for a ‘run.’ We’d play Monday and Tuesday, have Wednesday and Thursday off, and then play Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Those two off days, I’d get whatever I could get my hands on and just lock myself away in a hotel room.”

In 2009, there were reports that Fortune said he had been fired from the band – something he told Rolling Stone he never actually said. (At the time, a rep for INXS denied the reports.)

He continued to perform live with INXS for about a year before it was announced that he was out as frontman. (Ciaran Gribbin replaced him.)

“While I was going through that depression, I was trying to self-medicate,” Fortune recalled. “I used anything that was around, except for, like, heroin. I’m also not a hallucinogenic guy. I don’t like acid or anything like that.

“I definitely had a romance with cocaine, but it’s been over 10 years now since I have touched anything,” he said. “That’s one of my proudest accomplishments.”

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