It's hard to say which is a more ignominious death: auto-erotic asphyxiation or suicide. There has been a lot of speculation about what happened to Michael Kelland John Hutchence on November 22, 1997. The coroner ruled it a suicide. His family argues that it was suicide. His girlfriend, Paula Yates (now also deceased) stubbornly insisted that he would never have intentionally killed himself and left behind their daughter Heavenly Hiraani Tigerlily. And rumors persist that it was a masturbatory adventure gone horribly wrong. Either way, the fact is that the only person who will ever really know Mr. Hutchence's motives for hanging himself in the Ritz Carlton Hotel (now known as the Stamford Plaza Double Bay) in Sydney, Australia has been dead for almost five years.

Michael Hutchence was born January 22, 1960 to Kelland and Patricia Hutchence, at Mater Misericordiae Hospital in Sydney, Australia. When he was four years old, his family (which by that time included a younger brother, Rhett, as well as an older half-sister, Tina) moved to Hong Kong, where his father had gotten a job with a large Australian trading company.

As a boy, Michael was a member of the Boy Scouts and an avid swimmer. He won many races and medals, until he broke his right arm near the elbow. That was the end of his swimming career. As his arm healed, he developed an interest in poetry and music. His singing career had already begun when, at the age of eight, a Hong Kong toy company hired him to sing on a tape that became part of a toy.

In 1972, the Hutchence family returned to the Sydney area. It was there, at Killarney Heights High School, that Michael met Andrew Farriss, who became a good friend and recruited him to join a band that he had started with his brothers. Not surprisingly, the band was called The Farriss Brothers. Soon they were playing at small clubs in Sydney. After they graduated from high school, Michael and Andrew devoted more and more time to the band, playing larger gigs and writing their own songs (music by Andrew, lyrics by Michael).

Eventually they drove across Australia in an old station wagon to spend some time in Perth with the Farriss brothers' parents. They played a lot of gigs in skanky mining towns. When they had finished conquering the Perth scene, they moved on to Melbourne where they were very successful. From Melbourne they returned to Sydney, where they signed a recording contract and began playing large auditoriums instead of small clubs. The band changed its name to INXS, and set out to become as much of a success in Europe and the United States as they had been in Australia.

Along the way, Michael dated a lot of hotties, including Kylie Minogue and Helena Christensen. He was a charismatic, sexy performer, despite the fact that his bandmates described him as "shy".

At the time of Hutchence's death, he and Paula Yates were involved in an ongoing dispute with Sir Robert Geldof over the custody of Geldolf and Yates' three daughters. Alcohol, cocaine, Prozac and other prescription drugs were found in his blood during the autopsy.

In 1999, a posthumous eponymous solo album was released. The track listing was as follows:

  1. Let Me Show You
  2. Possibilities
  3. Get on the Inside
  4. Fear
  5. All I'm Saying
  6. A Straight Line
  7. Baby It's Alright
  8. Don't Save Me From Myself
  9. She Flirts for England
  10. Flesh and Blood
  11. Put the Pieces Back Together
  12. Breathe
  13. Slide Away

Discography (with INXS)


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