SYDNEY, Australia -- American R&B singer Terence Trent D'Arby will take the late Michael Hutchence's place as INXS's singer at the official opening of Sydney Stadium on June 12, the band announced Thursday (May 27).
D'Arby will join brothers John, Tim and Andrew Farriss, Kirk Pengilly and Garry Beers in what will be INXS's second public performance since Hutchence committed suicide on Nov. 22, 1997.
"This is an INXS show and Terence is merely lending us his vocal cords," guitarist Tim Farriss said at a press conference announcing the one-off performance.
"It's for one night only, at this stage," guitarist/saxophonist Pengilly said.
The band, known for such pop-rock hits as "Never Tear Us Apart" (RealAudio excerpt) and "Suicide Blonde" (RealAudio excerpt), also confirmed it is recording new material although it offered few details. "We've been in the studio, yes," Tim Farriss said. "It's in us; we're musicians."
Speculation had been rife for the past two weeks over who would sing with the band at the show, and Australian rocker Jimmy Barnes -- who fronted INXS at their only other post-Hutchence show, the Mushroom Records 25th Anniversary Concert in November -- was considered a strong contender. In March, D'Arby released a statement denying rumors he would replace Hutchence in the band.
Keyboardist/guitarist Andrew Farriss said several singers, including U2's Bono, had approached the band about filling in for Hutchence.
"People of both sexes wanted to sing with us," Andrew Farriss said.
But the band felt the 37-year-old D'arby would "fit in" best, Tim Farriss said. "His taste is similar to ours; he's very soulful."
"It's not easy without Michael," he added. "The thought of replacing him is impossible. But we don't want the last 20 years to fall by the wayside."
D'Arby was a friend of Hutchence's and the band had seen him perform in Australia in the mid-'80s. D'Arby achieved stardom with the 1987 album Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D'Arby, which featured the international hits "Wishing Well," "If You Let Me Stay" and "Sign Your Name."
His next two albums were Neither Fish nor Flesh (1989) and Symphony or Damn (1993); his most recent was Vibrator (1995). He's mixing a new one, due next year, in Los Angeles; it's tentatively titled The Solar Return of Terence Trent D'Arby: Confessions of a Powernoise Schizophonic.
D'Arby will arrive in Australia next week for rehearsals, the band said.
The June 12 extravaganza, which will precede a soccer game, is also scheduled to include Men At Work, Wendy Matthews, Rhonda Burchmore, Jane Scali, David Dixon and Kelly Abbey in a 90-minute program.