The surviving members of INXS this week announced they’ve replaced game-show winner J.D. Fortune with new lead singer Ciaran Gribbin — a Grammy-nominated Irish singer-songwriter who has worked with Madonna, Paul McCartney and Snow Patrol — and already have begun work on songs slated for the band’s next studio album.
The Gribbin-fronted INXS will make its live devut with a run of shows dubbed “INXS: Like You Have Never Seen Them Before” in South America, Australia and Europe this November and December; so far just six dates have been announced, but more are promised (see tour dates below).
Prior to the announcement, INXS already had debuted the first fruit of the new collaboration between Gribbin and the band’s chief songwriter, Andrew Farriss — a demo called “Tiny Summer” that was posted on the group’s website without revealing the identity of the singer.
Farriss told Billboard that Gribbin’s arrival into the band was “very organic. It wasn’t high-pressure or anything. I just enjoyed the guy’s company and really enjoyed his voice and listening to his songs, his music. Later on I realized the collaboration, artistically and especially songwriting, could be something that would be really, really good for (INXS). So far that’s been true.”
As for Gribbin’s reaction to the landing the gig, he wrote on Facebook: “I grew up listening to and loving INXS and never dreamt that one day I would be writing songs with Andrew Farriss for future INXS records, and performing all those wonderful INXS hit songs that we all know and love… I will give it my everything, for It really is a dream come true.”
And Fortune, who replaced the late Michael Hutchence after winning the “Rock Star: INXS” reality series, both he and the band say his departure was mutual. On his website, Fortune writes, “I did not leave INXS and I was not fired. Prior to this summer’s amazing tour, INXS and I mutually agreed that my contracted services as their lead singer for the Original Sin tour would end in Atlanta, Ga., on August 14th. We had a great time and a great tour and are all very proud of those shows.”
INXS tour dates:
Nov. 3: Anfiteatra Municipal, Arequipa, Peru
Nov. 5: Personal Fest, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Dec. 3: World Sailing Championships, Perth, Australia
Dec. 8: Melkweg, Amsterdam, Holland
Dec. 11: Le Bataclan, Paris, France
Dec. 12: Vooruit, Gent, Belgium